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Alamieyeseigha has immunity, says Olanipekun

Posted by By Innocent Anaba on 2005/10/13 | Views: 325 |

Alamieyeseigha has immunity, says Olanipekun


FORMER President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), yesterday said that by the provisions of the Nigerian constitution and applicable Acts in the United Kingdom, together with the Vienna Convention and a hosts of other decided cases in Britain and other foreign courts, that Governor DSP Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State enjoys immunity from prosecution in the UK.

LAGOS — FORMER President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), yesterday said that by the provisions of the Nigerian constitution and applicable Acts in the United Kingdom, together with the Vienna Convention and a hosts of other decided cases in Britain and other foreign courts, that Governor DSP Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State enjoys immunity from prosecution in the UK.

Chief Olanipekun in a statement entitled ‘The immunity of Governor DSP Alamieyeseigha under the Nigerian constitution and International law’, in Lagos also said, the Federal government should have done everything within its powers to prevent the trial of Alamiesiegha in Britain, given that Britain would have done same, if it were a British citizen that was arrested in another country, irrespective of the crime that was alleged to have been committed.

According to him, "It has been demonstrated in this treatise that considering both the Nigerian constitution and the applicable Acts in the UK, together with the Vienna Convention and a hosts of decided cases by British and other foreign courts, that Alamieyeseigha enjoys immunity from prosecution in the United Kingdom.

"Section 2 of our constitution creates the Federation of Nigeria as consisting the 36 states and the FCT, while section 5 which jointly vests the executive powers of the federation in the President and the 36 state governors has also been cited to bring home the point that each state is distinctly created.

by the constitution to have a full fledged government of its own".

Further he said, "the President does not enjoy any superior immunity over any Governor by virtue of section 308 of the constitution. The list and constitutional provisions on the independence, governmental and executive functions of the President and Governors are endless. The British government in particular would always come to the aid, assistance and defence of its citizens in foreign lands or jurisdictions, no matter the gravity of the offence or offences allegedly committed".

"The Nigerian government and people should emulate this realistic and pragmatic approach, both to our sovereignty and diplomatic relations. It is rather absurd for us to assume that any Nigerian, particularly a serving state Governor would get better justice elsewhere outside the shores of Nigeria for alleged offences committed in Nigeria and of which Nigeria or Nigerians are the purported victims".

"Whilst I am not condemning the anti-corruption war, it is being urged that in the process of waging the war we should stoically defend our sovereignty. The silence of the Federal government on the Alamieyeseigha’s travails is strange and baffling. It is Alamieyeseigha today, but it might be someone else tomorrow, even for a lesser or trivial offence. We should not put our nose to spite our face. Since time does not run against prosecution for any crime, the British government should send Alamieyeseigha back home and if a prima facie case is made out against him after investigation, he can face trial here in Nigeria at anytime. The immunity conferred on Alamieyeseigha or any of our Governors cannot and should not be waived. The salient purpose of state immunity in international law is protect the sovereignty of the foreign state", he added.





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