Former Anambra state governor Willie Obiano is the latest in a long line of former Nigerian governors to be arrested after losing immunity.
In recent years, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested at least thirty (30) Nigerian governors for different kinds of charges at different times.
Most of the time, their offences include abuse of state contracts and diversion of government funds for personal use.
According to Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended, state governors enjoy plenty of power, and they control budgets large, which is over some African countries’ budget.
To protect the dignity of the office, it is part of the power of state governors to enjoy immunity.
Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as amended says:
“Not withstanding anything to the contrary in the constitution, but subject to subsection (2) of this section, no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against any person whom this section applies during his period of office.
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Anyone this section apply to, will not be arrestwd or put in prison during the period either to pursue any court process or otherwise; and no court process will require or force this person which this section apply to, can be applied for or issued.
Therefore, the EFCC can only arrest a government official after their term has expired and their immunity has expired.