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INTERROGATING THE IMMUNITY CLAUSE AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

Abstract

This paper interrogates the immunity clause and democratic governance in Nigeria. The 1999 con-stitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria make constitutional provisions on immunity for certain categories of elected political-oÿce holders in Nigeria. While the original intention for its inclusion in the constitution was good, politicians have used the clause to the detriment of democracy. For this reason, the constitutional provisions on immunity have become a threat to the consolidation of Nigeria’s nascent democracy. The paper interrogate di˙erent views in the course of this work, what the immunity stand for, those that argue for and against immunity clause in Nigeria, the possible e˙ect of removing the immunity clause from the constitution. In this way, the paper made it clear that there are lots of justifications for the retention of Immunity Clause in the 1999 Constitution. The retention of Immunity Clause has lots of usefulness within the Nigerian political environment at the moment. Nigerian government and people are not yet politically mature like the government and people of United States where absence of Immunity clause does not undermine executive capacity.