According to a Retired Commissioner of Police, Chief Ikechukwu Aduba, the call by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, for death penalty on treasury looters to check official corruption, is bizarre and unrefined.
Aduba, who noted that some Nigerians often disparage well-meaning citizens for making forthright appraisal, said capital punishment has not tamed corruption in countries as China and India referred to by the unions, maintaining that what were required were practical and precautionary measures.
He asserted, “It is truism that Nigerians’ expertise in corruption is unparalleled the world over and corruption has destroyed every fabric of the Nigerian society… However, in my view, the call for death penalty by NLC and TUC is empirically absurd.”
“Emotions aside, they ought to call for immediate reform of the court system for a speedy conviction of the corrupt, strengthening of the apparatus of detection and investigation for quick arraignment of the corrupt and restructuring of the prison system to aid timely justice delivery in corruption cases.
“These would serve as more effective deterrence than imposition of death penalty. Without touching these critical areas, death penalty for corruption would not have a salutary effect, it would hardly check corruption just as it has been ineffective in checking armed robbery and lately kidnapping,” the ex-commissioner said.
Aduba stated, “Globally, advance economies had been able to combat official corruption through other proactive and preventable measures. None had used the medium of death penalty, which in itself is reactive to and already consummated action.”
Referring to China, he mentioned that the currently acclaimed universally as having the stiffest punishment for official corruption “cannot match decent countries such as Sweden, Switzerland and Namibia in the corruption index,” adding, “These other countries used other proactive tools and preventive measures to achieve milestones and not death penalty.”
He concluded by saying, “I wish to state equivocally that deterrence, retribution (restitution) and reformation are the three essence of punishment. Death penalty as a form of punishment was initially thought to achieve deterrence, NLC should note that these were in primordial crude society, yet that goal was never achieved as savagery still characterized those societies.”
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