Immunities and Tenures of Office in the Three Arms of Government in Nigeria: Legal Perspective (Published)
The Nigerian 1999 Constitution clearly recognises and upholds the principle of the separation of power and the need to ensure that each arm of the government operates within the purview permitted by law. Thus, to ensure that each arm of government discharges its functions effectively, the Constitution or existing enactments further provide for their immunities and tenures of office of the members of the executive, legislature as well as the judiciary. The intention of this article is to critically examine from the legal angle the scope and extent of the immunities granted to office holders in the three arms of government as well as the security of their appointments.
The need to build a good working relationship between the executive and the legislature in both presidential and parliamentary system of government is germane to this study. The paper opines that the agenda of socio-economic and political development, growth and sustainability is contingent on the system of government in operation. The paper attempts to highlight the basic characteristics of both presidential and parliamentary system of government for better appreciation and understanding of the discourse under review. Of particular importance in this study is the fact that a contention about which system of government among the two is best is to beg the question. The centrality of the argument however tilts towards partiamentarism, which the author has practically refuted as being mundane and baseless. The argument here is that the workings of a system is not a function of the coloration of the system in operation; but the general behavioural repertoire of political actors in positions of authority. The political entity could therefore work well or marred depending on the parametres of rulership idiosyncrasies in place at any point in time. The paper ends up with concluding remarks and suggestions for effectice future governance in Nigeria.