Se­nior ad­vo­cate wants with­drawal of pension for po­lit­i­cal of­fice hold­ers

Daily Trust - - LAW - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

A Se­nior Ad­vo­cate of Nige­ria, Se­bas­tine Hon, has called for the with­drawal of pension pro­vi­sions for po­lit­i­cal of­fice hold­ers at all lev­els on the grounds that it was im­moral for peo­ple, who begged to be elected to serve to turn around to con­sti­tute li­a­bil­ity to the state by draw­ing pension.

The SAN spoke in Abuja on Satur­day while an­nounc­ing plans for the pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion, in Abuja on July 12, of his new 1,300-page book, ‘S.T. Hon’s Con­sti­tu­tional and Mi­gra­tion Law in Nige­ria’, which dis­cussed, among oth­ers, over 4,000 de­ci­sions of both Nige­rian and for­eign courts.

He also faulted the re­stric­tion of im­mu­nity to lead­ers of the ex­ec­u­tive arm of gov­ern­ment, and ar­gued that the na­tion should either abol­ish the con­cept of im­mu­nity or ex­tend it to the other arms of gov­ern­ment.

“It is either we amend the con­sti­tu­tion to do away with im­mu­nity com­pletely or we ex­tend im­mu­nity to the other arms of gov­ern­ment. There is no way only one arm of gov­ern­ment will be en­joy­ing im­mu­nity and the other arms are ex­cluded. If the rea­son for im­mu­nity is to pre­vent dis­trac­tions, those in the other arms can also be pro­tected against such dis­trac­tions.

“So, we should either aban­don im­mu­nity or ex­tend it to the lead­er­ship of the other arms. It is dis­crim­i­na­tory and makes the ex­ec­u­tive too strong and over­bear­ing, thereby erod­ing gov­er­nance it­self. The ex­ec­u­tive con­trols the money, it con­trols the pow­ers and yet en­joys im­mu­nity. Other arms, who ought to be equal part­ners with you, are de­nied such con­sti­tu­tional priv­i­lege.

Dig­ni­taries ex­pected at the launch of the book, which touched on the core of central theme of Nige­ria’s con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy - Con­sti­tu­tional Law, in­clude Vice Pres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo, for­mer pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo, House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Speaker, Yakubu Dog­ara, Court of Ap­peal Pres­i­dent, Jus­tice Zainab Bulka­chuwa, Jus­tice Min­is­ter, Abubakar Malami and Benue State Gov­er­nor, Sa­muel Or­tom.

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