Attempt to amend constitution is dangerous — NLC

THE President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba has expressed dismay over the move by Senate to amend the Nigerian Constitution, describing the move as dangerous.

Wabba, who made this known recently, stated that the union is worried about the move by the Senate. “In the past one week, the Senate initiated a process for the amendment of the Act establishing the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). It cited as reasons for the amendment, the need to give every public officer (appearing before the tribunal) a fair hearing, justice and equity (in line with the provisions of Section 36[2] [a] of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the need to remove from political control, the two bodies which now play a critical role in the administration of criminal justice system.

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The NLC said that the noble intention of the Senate notwithstanding, the timing is suspicious and fraught with danger. “It is quite intriguing that it took the trial of the Senate President for the Senate to discover these flaws in the law(s). Putting it bluntly, in spite of the spirited defenses by the Deputy Senate President to the contrary, not a few believe that this legislative move is a desperate attempt to scuttle the trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, at CCT.”

“On our part, we do not think the privileges of the Senate President extend to exemptions from civil or criminal trials. At the moment, only the President and his Vice, the Governor and his Deputy enjoy this rare privilege. Thus, what the Senate is trying to do is no more than a legislative ambush. We need not remind the Senate that we are all equal or ought to be equal before the law, in spite of our stations in life. We similarly believe that the fight against corruption should be total and not selective. If this amendment therefore is allowed to scale through, it would have set a dangerous precedent.