N90b controversy: Lawyer says Osinbajo’s offer to waive immunity unconstitutional

#TrackNigeria Mr Realwan Okpanachi, a constitutional lawyer in Abuja says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is legitimately entitled to sue any person during his tenure without having to waive his immunity.

The lawyer made this known in an interview on Monday in Abuja.

Okpanachi was reacting to the statement credited to the vice president that he would waive his constitutional immunity to clear his name over the N90 billion he allegedly received from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The lawyer said that Section 308 of the Constitution which raises arguments in some quarters that the vice president could not institute any case in his name no longer represent the position of the law.

He said the case of I.B.M. Securities Plc. Vs Ahmed Bola Tinubu as decided by the Supreme Court being relied upon by those holding such opinion was no longer tenable.

“The current position of the law as expressed by the Supreme Court in the case of Global Excellence Communications Ltd. &Ors.Vs Mr Donald Duke (2007) LPELR-1323(SC).

“The apex court held that had the legislature intended to prohibit any of the holders of the offices listed in section 308(1) of the constitution from instituting cases in the names in their tenures.

“They would have expressly stated it, and that, since there was no such express provisions, then they are entitled to institute court case during their tenure,’’ Okpanachi said.

The legal practitioner added that the only effective way Osinbajo could waive his immunity, “if he sincerely desires to do so is to resign his position as vice president.’’

“He cannot remain in office and waive his immunity as the immunity is attached to that office and not his person,’’ the lawyer said.

Okpanachi also dismissed the allegations against the vice president as baseless and orchestrated by a particular opposition party. (NAN)

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