by Nana Nwachukwu
Last week, I heard the news of the proposed bill to amend the constitution to include immunity clauses for the legislative houses. I almost fell down in laughter. Oh but of course, you should not be surprised! The poor guys have been harassed up and down by court orders and petitions flying up and down. What do you expect them to do? One cannot steal money in peace in this country again?
You all are clamouring for a reduction in their allowances and their salaries and yet you do not want to see them practice ‘cap-banking’ effectively? Na wa for Nigerians o! These people we are talking about here are the ones who make those big fine laws. Yes, those laws that send you away permanently to Kirikiri for doing ‘sharp guy’ with Mama bomboy’s tin of milk while giving them respite for taking all pensioners’ money. You cannot beat power. Quit trying already!
Ehen, so they want the immunity enshrined in the Constitution? Smart guys. I thought most of you said they had illiterates up in those jolly houses? Shame on you. Did you know that the immunity they seek, they already have it? I bet you did not imagine that there was the Legislative Houses (Powers & Privileges) Act? Oh yes, it has always had the immunity clause to prevent the good house guys from being caught by the bad guys.
So do you not wonder why they want it in the constitution? Do you not wonder why cap-banker Farouk was being harassed? Well, there is this tiny bit of the constitution that throws their immunity off balance. It is Section 4 (8), that tiny part of the constitution that makes them subject to the Judiciary. Awesome isn’t it? The truth is this, the constitution is supreme to any other piece of legislation in Nigeria and where there are conflicting rules/laws, the constitution supersedes. See the drama right there?
Talking about the supremacy of the constitution, we hear that our notorious disguise guru Chief Alams has been granted a state pardon. Awful isn’t it? What is exactly wrong with the Council of State and the presidency? Is there cassava wine now? Well, that is the constitution for you. I have always said that someday, the prerogative of mercy in Section 175 of the Constitution will be used to abrogate moral justice. Assuming this is true, how do you pardon a man still wanted in another jurisdiction for a crime? How do you explain that the man was not hinted to be wrongly accused neither was he sentenced to death (to cry out for severity) and the fact that he was jailed for CORRUPTION! Did you hear that? Corruption o!
Let me explain this for clarity. The idea of a full state pardon is that your slate is wiped clean. “Go and sin no more”. You can run for public offices, vote and be voted, appoint and be appointed etc. Now, are we saying that (t)hief Alams has the opportunity of going back to some part of this nation’s treasury? Come off it people! This rumour cannot be true else we are sure we have a mad man at the helm of affairs.
Asides making this country look like a joke; it is not a security wise decision. A man who should be put in check should not be celebrated (Let us ignore the tom-foolery put up regularly by the goons of Bode George and Ibori). Ok, I have heard the arguments that Alams is South-south while the other pardoned people are from the different tribes of this nation. Fine, I agree, every part should get its quota. Did we not grant a crop of criminals’ amnesty just a while ago? We are even making them pilots now! The Government of Nigeria has made crime ‘cool’.
I met someone the other day at a meeting and he proudly said to me. “My name is….. and I am an ex-militant”. I said to him, “what do you do presently?” His deflated reply “Oh now? Ok, I am a PA to Senator….. just managing that for the time-being”. He regaled me with glorious times at the creek and how money is not “coming well now.”
I have also heard the argument that pardons have been granted to murders. Oh yes, most of them did not have conclusive proof of the crime. The wrong person could be sentenced to death. We all know that, it has also happened several times. In murder sometimes, it is based on eyewitness evidence and sometimes, nothing is recovered to show that the accused/convicted actually did it but you all know what was recovered from our dear Alams so he could not have been framed or wrongly accused but if he says otherwise, the UK Courts have been waiting to declare him ‘innocent’. I suggest he takes a holiday trip to ‘obodo oyibo’.
Let us face the fact and deal with issues instead of seeking cheap accolades my dear President. Fact remains that there will be crime committed by people we know, love and would lay down our lives for. Granted, Alams was the President’s former boss but this same president swore to carry out his duties without fear or favour. It could be your legal prerogative but it will be morally wrong to free a man completely for corruption.
I still wonder why these guys need extra immunity. Rape the nation and get a pardon. Just hurry up and loot before 2015 but luck may run out on you if your zone’s pardon has been used up. Happy looting!