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Nigeria president seeks end to immunity for leaders

Started by Muhsin, December 10, 2008, 05:47:51 PM

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Nigeria president seeks end to immunity for leaders
Wed 10 Dec 2008, 14:26 GMT

By Randy Fabi

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria President Umaru Yar'Adua said on Wednesday that he and the country's other top political leaders should lose their constitutional right to immunity from prosecution while in office.

Yar'Adua said he will ask a constitutional review committee to remove this protection for the president, vice president, state governors and deputy governors.

"This provision for immunity should be expunged from the Nigerian constitution," he said at the launch of a new anti-corruption campaign. "Nobody in Nigeria deserves the right to be protected by law when looting public funds."

Africa's most populous country has a long history of top officials raiding government coffers with impunity.

Institutional fraud is a major disincentive to foreign investors, who view it as an indicator of inefficient public spending and therefore a major brake on economic growth.

"Corruption is endemic in this country," Yar'Adua said, blaming the country's "elite" for the problem.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged 10 former state governors with corruption since Yar'Adua took office 19 months ago, but none has so far been convicted.

Farida Waziri, head of the EFCC, said states and local governments were making it difficult for the country's anti-graft police to do its job.

"Some states ... would not want any federal agency to inquire into any allegations of wrong doing concerning them," she said.

Opposition and rights campaigners have criticised the appointment of Waziri, a retired high-ranking police offer, to head the commission earlier this year.

The removal of its former head Nuhu Ribadu, who won respect from the international community for initial progress at the EFCC, triggered accusations the government had caved into pressure to stop sensitive investigations, which it denies

Wow! Many thumb ups to you, Mr. Preseident, for having such a guts to declair this in pub like that. But I really wonder if he really means it...ko ba haka ba?

Any way, if he actually wants that be done is very simple and doable. He's to only give order and it must be answered soonest. Although I damned know he must be severely criticised by other immunited leaders.

We are wating to see it.
Get to know [and remember] Allah in prosperity & He will know  [and remember] you in adversity.