Powers and General Functions
The Bayelsa State House of Assembly like every other House of Assembly in Nigeria is empowered under sections 4(6)(7), 90, 91, 100, 101, 128, 188, to carryout different range of functions. These include:
- Law making
- Impeachment of the Governor/Deputy Governor
To be able to carry out these functions, the members of a House of Assembly enjoys certain powers, privileges and immunites; conferred on them by the constitution or the Laws of the federation. Some of which include:
- Powers to regulate its own Internal Proceedings: Section 101 of the 1999 constitution as amended, gives the State House of Assembly power to regulate its procedures, devoid of executive of judicial interference. These include such internal procedures and rules are captured in the Standing Order of the House 2011.
- Power to Conduct Investigation: The House of Assembly is empowered by the section 128 to investigate the conduct of affairs of any person, ministry, agency of department for the purpose of law-making; or for the purpose of exposing corruption, inefficiency or waste.
- Immunity from Arrest: Members of the House of Assembly are entitled to the right and privilege to say anything while contributing to a debate before the House. As such they are immune from arrest, civil or criminal proceedings (See section 31. Cap 208, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990). This immunity does not cover acts of criminality, unruly conducts of contemptuous behaviour by members.