Absolute immunity no longer allowed under the law – Falana
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana said any president or governor who committed criminal act could be arrested while in office and taken for trials.
Falana Falana said this while speaking on: “Limit of executive immunity” in Benin to mark the 60th birthday of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Edo, Prof. Julius Ihonvebere.
Falana said that immunity did not also extend to electoral fraud. He urged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu to face the forgery charges against them rather than politicking about it, saying “they have no immunity to dodge the charges against them.’’
Falana said that according to the Supreme Court ruling, there was no longer absolute immunity therefore governors involved in criminal charges, including the leadership of the National Assembly must face the law.
He faulted the invitation extended to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami by the leadership of the senate over the forgery allegation against the senate president and his deputy.
“The senate is now politicising the issue, saying it is political victimization but not that the offence was not committed. “As leaders of the National Assembly, you are supposed to be above board and that is even the more reason you must be careful.
“But I want to remind the senate that the Attorney General of the Federation is only answerable to his boss, who is the president and nobody else.
“The same thing applies to the states, so there is no longer absolute immunity in this country. “And that is why what is happening in Ekiti today about money found in a bank and the governor is saying it is illegal to freeze his account that is not true.
“Any issue that is criminal in nature must be treated as such,” he declared.
Falana however described Ihonvbere as a resourceful Nigerian, who fought doggedly for the nation’s democracy. Gov. Adams Oshiomhole, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Elizabeth Ativie and other members of the State Executive Council were present at the occasion.