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‘Why House of Reps Want Speech Immunity’

We are not looking for a blanket immunity…what we are saying is that immunity so that legislators will be free to discuss and argue matters  well in the chamber.”

The chairman of the House committee on Media and Public Affairs Zakari Mohammed stated this over the weekend in Ilorin, Kwara state.

The lawmaker further explained that Nigerians are getting it wrong adding that what the lawmakers wanted is protection against using their speeches or comments against them in court.

According to him, the immunity would enable the lawmakers to make robust contributions and comments on the floor without fear of being sued in court.

His words:

“As legislators, we have speech immunity and it is to be protected on what we say on the floor of the House and not to be taken to court on what we say.”

”For example, if someone takes me to court on what a journalist reported that I said in hallowed chamber, you as a reporter will be sued alongside with me. But if we have immunity, you can hide under that and report  well.”

The speech immunity for lawmakers has drawn condemnations from well-meaning Nigerians as they argued that such rights would be abused by the lawmakers.

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