IMPEACHMENT AND COST EFFECTS OF IMMUNITY CLAUSE A CASE STUDY OF HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY IN EKITI STATE
This study aims at investigating the concept of impeachment in Nigeria’s, and cost effect of immunity clause likewise the problems and the prospects would be well analyzed in this project.
The project is divided into four chapters with each logically presented and revealing the desired result from the study.
In the first chapter, efforts would be made to fashion out into details, the rationale behind researcher interest to embark on the study.
These could be viewed under sub – topic like, background of the study where the researcher will exploit her background knowledge about impeachment and it’s historical background conceptually. Also the researcher hypothesis and objective of the study will be discussed.
However, chapter two is meant to give insight into most relevant scholastic proposition that has been analyzed in relation to the topic of the research work. Hence, this chapter entails reviewing of existing literature on subject matter. The research methodology which contains the research design, population and sample chosen in the study are to be discussed. It will also contain the description of instrumentation and its validation via data analysis.
That is not all, chapter three will be based on the information gathered on various governor impeach in Nigeria. The analysis of information gathered in proceeding chapters will also be discussed.
Finally, chapter four carries the criterion and the summary of findings conclusion based on the researchers observation possible recommendation and probably, suggestions could be made for further research.
Bibliography of the existing texts coupled with appendix (if any) will be adequately supplied.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of content
Statements of the Problem
Objectives of the study
Scope of the study
Operationalization of Key Contents
Organization of the study
The Concept of Democracy
Democracy in 18th and 19th Century
Democracy in the 20th Century
Types of Democracy
Democracy in Nigeria
Immunity Clause and It’s Cost Effects
Cost Effect of Immunity Clause
Impeachment and the Executive
The Downfall of Ayo Fayose in Ekiti State
The Sack of Peter Obi in Anambra State
The Removal of Rasheed Ladoja in Oyo State
Impeachment and Nigeria’s Democracy in the Fourth Republic (1999 – 2007)
Nigeria March to constitutional democracy has so far been tortuous characterized as if whereby anti – colonial struggles, crisis, coups and counter-coups as well as thirty – month civil wall between 1967 and 1970. After the civil war – several policy measures were devised to facilitate the process of national reconciliation, integration and development. All these measures failed due to some forces, such as the nature of the society, the characters of the state, as well as the manner of contestation for power, which is largely determined by the character of the elites.
With the Nigeria’s tortuous democratic transition to the fourth republic on May 29, 1999, hopes were high about the possibility of the sustenance of democratic values in the country from all indications, the Nigerian political landscape has been characterized by many crises. For example, corruption has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the society and it has become so deep seated in the country that it had stunted in all sector and has been the primary reason behind the difficulties in developing fast. One thorny area that needed immediate attention was the long – standing problem of financial crimes especially the Advance fee fraud known generally as 419 some human right activists, eminent politicians, stakeholder have advocated for quick action on the matter in order to put and end to it.
During Obasanjo regime (1999-2007) he established many anti – graft agencies to curb corruption. These agencies include independent corrupt practice and other related effences commission (ICPC) led by justice Mustafa Akanbi later Emmanuel Ayoola and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) led by Mallam Nuru – Ribadu. These agencies have been trying to bring society often plagued by corruption mal – administration and mismanagement of public resources.
Some public office holders like Governors, deputy Governors, President and vice President are covered by section 308 of the 1999 constitution from being prosecuted while in office for mismanagement, abuse of office, breaking of oath and violation of the constitution.
The anti-corruption crusade of Obasanjo could not be extended to these people because of constitutional constrains. The immunity that protest some public office holders can only be removed through impeachment to allow them to be tried in court of law for abuse of office. A weapon ‘code – name’ impeachment can only be used by the house of Assembly and National Assembly in the state and at the Federal level respectively. This means that impeachment is a powerful instrument or tool of the legislature to checkmate the excesses or activities of the executive arm of government. The 1999 Nigerian constitution is clear on how a Governor or the deputy of a state may be removed from office if found “guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the function of his office section 188 sub section (1) of 1999 constitution provides procedures for the impeachment process.
These procedure, seem not to have been strictly adhered to by the legislators. In cases where these appeared to be some semblance of compliance, the procedure and processes were feeble and shrouded in controversy. There was no doubt that the actions of the legislators have being emboldened by sundry Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) investigators and reports which indicated the public office holders. Five impeachment most of which were carried out in bizarre and undemocratic circumstances within a state of one year can a lot into question. This is a rape on democracy and something must be done to save this teetering democracy.
The fourth republic was faced with various impeachment processes which have curiously and arguably become the most popular political and constitutional law concept in Nigeria Fourth republic since the impeachment of Musa Balarabe in the second republic impeachment process has become a topical issue in Nigeria’s constitution development.
Also what has become apparent is the fact that that the legislators enjoy the support of some members of the judiciary particularly the judges. This is done in their haste to assert their independent and new found authority under a democratic dispensation they have therefore abandoned their enviable roles as custodian of the people conscience defenders of the constitution. Their roles as custodian since this debacle started has culminated into the declaration of state of emergency in Ekiti state due to the unconstitutional and illegal role played by the state chief judge. Justice Kayode Bamisile for constituting a panel with members of questionable character. This made the erring legislators suspend him and appoint another acting chief judge, justice Jide Aladejana to constitute another panel to investigate the allegations leveled against the Governor Mr. Ayo Fayose and his deputy, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi. All these created unnecessary bottleneck and ignited political and constitutional crisis in the state. Despite the court order in Oyo State, that the state Chief Judge, justice Afolabi Adeniran from setting up panel to investigate the charges instituted against the Governor pending the determination of the suit in the court filled by pro – Ladoja legislators he defied court order and constituted panel to investigate the Governor over money laundering. The supreme court later nullified his impeachment because the two third majority (2/3) required by the constitution was not met some of these judges were suspended by the National Judicial (NJC) impea is a constitutional power of the legislature to checkmate the excesses of the executive arm of government but the procedures have not strictly been gathered to. This call for serious concern to all and sundry to save the nascent democracy from being truncated or derailed our democracy should not be left in the hands of charlatans and Lilliputians.
Statement of the Problem
This study will look into the problems and predicament encountered in the impeachment processes during the fourth republic. The provision of immunity clause in the constitution is the beginning of corruption and lawlessness. The immunity clause has made the process of impeachment cumbersome.
Also the purported godfathers have influenced the legislators to facilitate the impeachment of their godsons over state allocation or tussle in the allocation of positions. This has generated or engendered political crisis in many states like Oyo, Anambra and Kwara State. At the level of the National Assembly, many allegations were raised against Obasanjo but did not succeed in removing him.
Impeachment as a weapon against political opposition is a great threat to this nascent democracy why is it that some notable politicians who have allegedly looted the state treasury have not been brought to book? For example the chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Olabode George who was alleged to have misappropriated N84 billion when he was the Acting Chairman of Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) is roaming freely, the former adviser to the former president Olusegun Obasanjo Andy uba was indicted by international community of $170,000 for the purchase of farm machineries to Obasanjo’s farm at Ota and has not been prosecuted? Have factors such as party rivalry, ideological differences responsible for the Gestapo style of impeachment in the fourth republic? How the lawmakers and interpreters have become lawbreakers is also interesting case of study.
Objectives of the study
The research objectives are to:
- Show the importance of impeachment in the fourth republic.
- Examine the role of the judiciary legislature and the executive in the impeachment process between 1999 – 2007.
- Determine the extent to which constitutionalism has hindered the impeachment process.
- Analyze impeachment as a political weapon against opposition and:
- Proffer suggestion on how to curb political crisis and constitutional berrations in Nigeria.
The hypothesis are as follow:
- There is a relationship between impeachment and due process.
- Impeachment facilitates transparency and accountability in democratic system.
- Incessant illegal impeachment is a threat to sustainable democracy.
Theoretical Frame Work
The study would employ general system approach or model in this analysis. It provides an understanding on how decisions are made. Decisions could be negative or positive. This could be attributed to input model where we have demands and supports. System theory is used to analyze interactions within the political actors. Impeachment depends on democracy and also serves as a guide to the conduct of political office holders. It could also be used in comparative analysis of modernized and developing politics. It analyze the link among the component units and that is why in a democratic system, like Nigeria, laws regulations and provision are made to determine the way political system works.
The immunity in section 308 of the Nigeria 1999 constitution presents the Governors and deputies, presidents and vice president from prosecution. This means the immunity must first be removed through impeachment, resignation, death, permanent incapacity before they can be dealt with if they violate the constitution, immunity does not permit or allows the public office holders to violate the ethnical and moral standard.
Impeachment is a constitution responsibility of the legislature in the political system.
Scope of the study
The unit of analysis centered on impeachment process and Nigeria’s democracy, covering the period of the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007) it will further capture the importance of impeachment in the democractic realm of Nigerian politics.
The process of checks and balance among the three arm of government in the impeachment process from 1999 – 2007 will also be examined. Predicaments behind the impeachment proceedings against any political offices holder for abuse of power, money laundering, gross misconduct will be analyzed.
Since the nature of this research work involve an attempt in looking at the particular event in a political regime, this study will rely mainly on secondary data in gathering information such as magazines, newspapers, official documents, write-ups etc as well as library facilities.
Operationalization of Key Concepts
Important terms which will later be used in analyzing the topic should be operatonalise to avoid ambiguity.
Impeachment the concept of impeachment means the process by which a legislative body can removed public officials from office. It comprises both the act of formulating an accusation or indictment against an official and the subsequent trial.
Democracy, according to Osaghae, there is a consensus opinion among scholars of the concept of democracy which is how to govern the society in such as way that power actually belongs to all the people. Democracy is the government ruled by majority, minority has a say, but the majority have their way.
Corruption as used in this context means dishonest and illegal behaviour especially of people in authority. The top government functionaries are the perpetrators of this atrocity who involved in illegal diversion of public fund at the detriment of the people. Other atrocities which may be associated with corruption are abuse of power money laundering etc.
Immunity: this refers to the protection of the top government political functionaries from being prosecuted by any anti –graft agency or tried in a law court for abuse of office or gross misconduct.
Governors, deputy Governors, President and vice President are granted immunity from prosecution.
This is contained in the section 308 of the 1999 constitution. The purpose may be prevent them from being distracted by political opponents while in office.
Organization of the study
This study will be divided into five chapters.
- Chapter one comprises introduction, statement of problem, objectives of the study, hypothesis, theoretical framework, scope of the study, methodology, operationalization of the key concepts and organization of the study.
- Chapter two reviews the literature on impeachment and democracy.
- Chapter three focuses on origin and history of impeachment and democracy.
- Chapter four contains analysis of impeachment in the fourth republic.
- Chapter five comprises the summary and conclusion.
Ajayi, P.O and Aladegbola A (2006): Constitutional Problems in Nigeria.
Ayo Bamidele (1998) “A derive to the performance of Nigeria public Bureaucracy” in Kolawole Dipe issue in Nigeria current and politics Ibadan, Dekad publish.
Tell Magazine (2000): August 14th.
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