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NBA Opposes Death Penalty For Corruption

NBA Opposes Death Penalty For Corruption

Nigerian Bar Association has opposed the introduction of the death penalty for corruption-related offences.

Instead, it proposed longer prison terms without any option of fine for those convicted of graft.

The NBA President, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN), stated this on Sunday in Abuja on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day.

He said, “No penalty can be considered too severe for those convicted of corruption and corrupt practices.

“As human rights advocates, we are opposed to death penalty for those convicted of corruption.

“Longer enough terms of imprisonment with community service without an option of fine or ‘prerogative of mercy’ will suffice as a deterrent.”

The Arewa Consultative Forum recently recommended that corruption be made a capital offence in its submissions to the constitution amendment.

The NBA also called on the National Assembly to immediately pass some anti-corruption bills that are still pending before it.

He added, “The NBA is concerned at the slow pace of passage of this bill into law, and shall therefore use our Legislative Advocacy Committee to push for its passage.”

He also called for a “review of the existing anti-corruption legal framework, especially in respect of anti-graft institutions”.

Calling for the enactment of Proceeds of Crime Act to broaden the powers of the anti-graft agencies, Wali said the law would “become the broad legal umbrella under which the anti-corruption crusade is prosecuted.”

The association also canvassed “further synergy and coordination between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau police as well as anti-corruption entities in order to effectively prosecute the anti-corruption campaign in the country.”

He said, “The EFCC, ICPC and other anti-graft bodies were established to combat corruption at various levels.

“Sadly, in spite of the strategies in place, little or no success has been achieved in that direction as these institutions fall short of the standards and requirements of an effective anti-corruption regime, as demanded by the anti-corruption conventions.

“There is no clear cut definition of role among these agencies, nor is there constructive collaboration between them and this has not helped the war against corruption.”

Chairman of the NBA Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr. Yusuf Ali, (SAN), in an address, said the committee would partner with the EFCC and ICPC, as well as other anti-graft agencies.

Ali also spoke of the need to activate the provisions of Section 42 of the ICPC Act, which empowered the Chief Justice of Nigeria to mandate an independent legal practitioner, of not less than 15 years experience, to investigate allegations of corruption against the President or Vice-President as well as a Governor or Deputy Governor of a state, and make a report of his findings to the National Assembly, or state house of assembly, as the case may be.

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