Senate okays HND as minimum qualification for president, govs…removal of politicians’ immunity

By Adetayo Opeyemi

The Senate on Thursday uninanimously voted for a bill seeking to make Higher National Diploma (HND) or its equivalent as the minimum educational qualification for anyone vying to become president or governor in Nigeria.

The bill sponsored by lawmaker representing Plateau North, Senator Isfifanus Gyang of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), passed through second reading during the day’s plenary session.

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According to the bill, those contesting for membership of the national and state assemblies, must also possess National Diploma (ND) or its equivalent as the minimum qualification.

This subsisting law that the new amendment will be altering reads, “A person shall be qualified for election under subsection (1) of this section if he has been educated up to at least School Certificate or its equivalent.’’

Meanwhile, the senate has also moved to remove immunity for the president and state government in criminal matters.

This amendment is also understood to affect the vice president and deputies of the sitting president and sitting governors respectively.

The bill which was sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege is titled “A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to qualify criminal liability for certain public officers under Section 308.’’

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This means that a sitting president or governor and their deputies can be subjected to investigation by relevant agencies on matters involving crime, if the bill is passed.

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