Nigerian lawmakers propose bill to jail Ministers, others who defy them

House of Representatives
House of Representatives

A bill that could see officials of the executive arm of government thrown into prison if they fail to honour a summon by the legislature has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill also recommended an alternative fine of up to N1 million for any official found guilty of contempt of the National Assembly.

The sponsor of the bill, Sunday Karim, said during plenary on Thursday that lawmakers were frustrated by frequent refusal of members of the executive arm of government, especially ministers and directors-general, to honour invitations of investigative committees in both the Senate and the House.

Mr. Karim said his bill seeks to bolster the provisions of the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act of 2004 which he said he been repeatedly desecrated by government officials.

“This bill is meant to assist our oversight functions,” Mr. Karim said.

Two lawmakers, Mohammed Soba and Iduma Igariwey, who raised a point of order to oppose the bill were ruled out by the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, who presided over legislative activities for the day.

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