Ahead of Thursday’s zonal constitutional conferences, foremost northern political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, has recommended capital punishment for corruption.
At present, China is the only notable country where corruption attracts capital punishment.
In its proposal submitted to the National Assembly, the ACF rued the destructive impact of corruption on the country and said that anybody found guilty of corruption should be killed.
The forum said, “The law classifies crimes according to the severity of their consequences both on the individual victim, the community or the country. If crime holds a high potential to gravely harm or kill its victim, the more severe the punishment, which was designed to punish and deter offenders.
“This is to say that punishment must always fit offences. One crime that has proved capable of gravely harming or killing its victim, Nigeria, is corruption.
“Sadly, our laws have not recognised corruption for what it is. ACF recommends that corruption be recognised as a capital offence and made to carry capital punishment.”
Corruption is regarded as common-place among the country’s political class and men of power and efforts to stem it have been handled with kid gloves notwithstanding the establishment of anti-corruption agencies.
Only few notable Nigerians have been tried and sentenced for corruption.
Ex-governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbnedion, was similarly tried, convicted and fined N3.5m by an Enugu High court in December 2008. The judgment which enraged the public as a slap-on-the-wrist followed a plea-bargain deal between the former governor and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which saw 191 charges preferred against Igbinedion reduced to just one.
Jonathan’s predecessor in Bayelsa State, ex-governor Diepreye Alamieseigha, was tried and sentenced to two years imprisonment in 2007 by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
A chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, also completed a jail term last year for corruption while serving as the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
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