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You’re Not Above The Law – Tambuwal Tells Reps

 The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has admonished lawmakers to be law abiding in carrying out their duties, stressing that parliamentarians are not above the law.

Tambuwal who spoke at a two-day workshop organised by the National Assembly joint committee on Rules and Business in collaboration with the National Institute for Legislative Studies and Democratic Governance for Development Projects, DGDP, in Abuja, urged members of the legislature to use their constitution-granted investigative roles to enforce accountability in government in order to ensure rapid development in the country.

Participants at the workshop include current and past members of the National Assembly and 36 State Houses of Assembly as well as former principal officers including Ghali Na’Abba and Prof Oserhieme  Osunbor.

The speaker who gave the keynote address reminded his colleagues that they only enjoy immunity from spoken words uttered within the chambers and other legislative gatherings, adding that that does not protect them from consequences of any illegal act committed.

According to him, “You will find also, as you discuss the privileges and immunity of legislators, that while the law protects the parliamentarian over comments made on the floor of the house, that privilege does not extend to any illegality perpetrated by a legislator. In other words, being a parliamentarian does not place you above the law. Indeed, it imposes on you a responsibility to abide by the law at all times”, he said.

He observed that Legislature has a responsibility to provide checks and balances as provided by the Constitution, saying that the lawmakers would be breaking the law if they failed to carry out their statutory functions.

He also called for the stronger cooperation among the three arms of government, saying, “Separation of powers does not mean that the three arms of government work exclusive of one another.”

“That would in fact defeat the very essence of our mandate, which is to work together in raising the standards of living of our people,” he quipped.

The legislature, he further noted, has a duty to provide certain checks and balances that are set down by the constitution. We will therefore be breaking the law if we do not perform these tasks, which are our oversight functions,” he said.

News Investigator
News Investigator
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