Anti-Terrorism Bill: NBA Opposes Death Penalty

Anti-Terrorism Bill: NBA Opposes Death Penalty

Anti-Terrorism Bill: NBA Opposes Death Penalty

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) on Tuesday in Abuja, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to reject the death penalty prescribed by the Legislature as punishment for terrorists' activities.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the National Assembly on Dec. 13, passed the amended Anti-Terrorism Bill, with death sentence as maximum punishment.

The President of the NBA, Mr Okey Wali, raised the objection of the association at the inauguration of the association’s Disciplinary Committee.

He, however, said, "The temptation to give the death sentence as punishment is very high due to the destruction to lives and property by suspected terrorists in the last two years.

"The NBA is of the stand that the prescription would amount to frequent termination of lives; it is totally unfair to take human life for another.

"The NBA has a defined stand against capital punishment, as much as the global community that has called for the abolition of death sentences from our extant laws.

"This does not mean that we are oblivious of the destruction and insecurity in the country because of terrorists' activities.

"Killing someone because he or she killed someone else is an outdated justice; a long jail sentence is okay," he said.

Speaking on the allegation that lawyers were cogs on the wheels of fight against corruption by the anti-graft bodies, Wali said "such allegation was baseless".

He explained the Judiciary was created to administer justice, adding that the judges were supposed to check the excesses of lawyers handling corruption cases in their courts.

Wali further said the inability of the anti-graft commissions to undertake detailed investigation on corruption allegations was the bane on successful prosecution of offenders.

"Lawyers do not influence investigations of corruption allegations. The EFCC and the ICPC lack the investigative expertise to bring offenders to book.

"They lack the requisite forensic laboratories and forensic experts. So tell me how the lawyers are stopping them from performing their function or are they saying the accused persons do not have rights of defence?" asked Wali.

The NBA president, however, explained that the Disciplinary Committee would investigate and punish unethical behaviours of lawyers.

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