Prominent Nigerians and lawyers have faulted the claims by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara that he could not be investigated or interrogated over alleged padding of the 2016 budget.
Reacting to Dogara’s claim, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN, said the Speaker was wrong for saying no one can question him.
He maintained that nobody was exempted from prosecution or interrogation.
His words, “There is no such thing. There is no such legal status in the country. Any other person apart from the President, Vice President, governor and deputy governor can be investigated and prosecuted.
“Apart from those two groups, there is no other person in this country, who enjoys any form of immunity against investigation, prosecution and interrogation. So, what he is saying is wrong.”
On his part, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Emeka Ngige noted that, “If truly he said that, it is wrong because the Police can investigate anyone. That is consistent with what I said on Fayose’s case that he can be investigated but not prosecuted because of immunity.
“The Speaker does not have immunity like Fayose but he can be investigated by the Police but not indicted on the pages of the newspaper.
“Even Buhari who is protected by immunity can be investigated by the Police but not prosecuted. The Police can do that by following due process. They can write to the Clerk of the House, who is the administrative head of the House, if they want to do that.”
Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said the alleged budget scam had been turned to a family affair.
“You should be able to put two and two together. The confidence that he cannot be interrogated stems from the fact that the Presidency has said that there was no padded budget.
“So, it is clear that this is a family affair. There are probably some political calculations about this. Some people must have reasoned that if this reaches a logical conclusion and Dogara steps down, it will alter power rotations in the chambers.
“The party came in first to wade into the matter, second, the Presidency said it was not aware of any padded budget. So, what are we waiting for? The matter is over.”
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