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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  • Rommel

    The party affiliation of the lawmakers should always be attached when news like this is being written

  • umar adam abba

    useless set of bill these are not what Nigerian voted you for .make laws that directly touch the life of people of Nigeria not for calling minsters and permanent secretary for your selfish interest

  • Sword of Damocles

    These are the same humans who shout separation of powers doctrine, when they are asked by the executive to demonstrate transparency in the yearly budget of the NASS or for their members to submit before the law(judiciary) when they break the law. One by one, every Nigerian will come to realize that DEATH is too good for most of the ruling Elites(past & present). It appears our Nigeria is in a death spiral, what is wrong with these people????

  • Muhammad

    The real difference of the Legislators is in earning its honor and respect by consistently doing the right thing most of the times . This is how to prove the civility of man , as against the executive that is entrusted with coercive instruments because man can be nasty .
    If the Legislature starts ARMING itself by Immunity or Sanctions for non appearance , it gives away itself as incapable of EARNING its honor and respect by all existing civil means surrounding DOING ITS BUSINESS WELL .

  • Bunduma Mohammed

    NIGERIA criminal legislators are at it again always making laws that would strengthen their criminal interest. Nigerias needs to occupy the National Assembly.


      these people dont priotise their job. what do we need most is not creating powers or ego. No wonder Trump can insult Nigeria we are not puling our weight in decent democracy. Its a business get together . We dont need surmons but we need to have a people’s hearing daily i.e commoner go there to show your frustration. reps are reps of themselves

      • musa aliyu

        I agree with Trump

  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    This is a power drunk #NASS.

    It is not contented with legislative powers but increasingly, it is appropriating executive powers to itself.

    Let’s see how long before they start interpreting their own laws.

  • Al

    Whatever bill they decide to make will end at executive table for (ancent) approval

  • linkhadj.

    And what prison term will be for the Legislators who had been defying the demand of Nigerians for disclosure of their salaries and allowances and also reduction in those allowances and salaries in line with the recession.?

    • Ezekiel

      They want to become a tin God.

  • Ezekiel

    The bill is in the interest of whom.

  • musa aliyu

    So they can get absolute loyalty in getting contracts and jibs for their children and cronies. Mtchewww!!!!

    • thusspokez

      On the contrary, this would ensure that ministers do not undermine legislators even those the the ministers had awarded contracts.



  • kayode Olufade

    This makes them judge jury and executioner in Nigeria. This is a bill that shouldn’t see the light of day

  • Paul Irumundomon

    In my state, the house of assembly proposed a bill to spend 300 million naira, on the out going governor and his deputy. These are duo, who stole so much. In the house of representative, they ran out of good proposals, b ut how to come up with decrees, when they are supposed to help aleviate hunger.

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  • thusspokez

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

    I am surprised that such power is not already available to the legislators.

    The arrogance of Nigerian public officials is getting out of hand. Politicians and public officials now feel that it is beneath them to address even the people who had elected them, hence they employ numerous advisers and spokespersons — paid with public fund — to speak on their behalf.

    Yes the legislators should have the powers to order the police to arrest and put in jail anything public official who repeatedly undermines the National Assembly.