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Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Falana: Governors can be arrested, the era of absolute immunity gone

Falana: Governors can be arrested, the era of absolute immunity gone

Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says any president or governor who commits criminal act could be arrested while in office.

He said the supreme court had ruled out absolute immunity, therefore governors involved in criminal charges, including the leadership of the national assembly, must face the law.

Falana said this in Benin on Saturday while speaking on: ‘Limit of executive immunity’ at a ceremony to mark the 60th birthday of Julius Ihonvebere, secretary to the state government (SSG) of Edo.

Faulting the invitation extended to Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, by the leadership of the senate, Falana urged Senate President Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, his deputy, to face the forgery charges against them.

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He accused the senate of politicising the issue, saying: “they have no immunity to dodge the charges against them.

“The senate is now politicising the issue, saying it is political victimisation 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.”

The lawyer said Malami is not answerable to the senate, insisting that: “Any issue that is criminal in nature must be treated as such.

“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.”

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