Can A Lawmaker Say Anything On The Floor Of The House?

October 30, 2020

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

Yesterday, a series of videos surfaced online of how lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly tore into Nigerian youths. From claims ranging from the fact that many Nigerian youths are into “hard drugs”, to claims of how “social media influencers” over-exaggerated the #LekkiMassacre, the lawmakers poured out their hearts at the legislative sitting of the house.

But did you know that lawmakers cannot be prosecuted for anything that is said on the floor of the legislative chamber, or house?

Read: Can Nigerians Vote For A New Constitution?

Legislative Immunity

Courtesy of Section 1 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act of 2018, no lawmaker can be sued to court for words spoken or written at sessions or committee hearings of the legislative house.

This means that irrespective of what lawmakers say on the floor of the house, no case can be brought against them in court for what they have said or written.

So, if a lawmaker says that a majority of Nigerian youths are on drugs, and even if they don’t have the facts to back up the statement, no legal action can be taken against the person for what they have said.

What Is The Way Out?

As a citizen of Nigeria, if you are not pleased with what your elected lawmaker has said on the floor of the house, you can recall them.

We outlined the process here.

Read: How to Recall A Silent Senator

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.


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