Abuja - A Rivers-based lawyer, Abdulkareem Dauda, has said that an amendment to the law governing corruption to impose death penalty on convicted corrupt government officials and others was justifiable and desirable.
Dauda said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The legal practitioner said death sentence for those found guilty of corruption was justifiable, considering the multiplier effects of corruption, which destroyed every sector of the society.
He added that "if an armed robber who kills one or two persons or robbed at gunpoint gets a death sentence, what of a corrupt government official whose action destroys many lives?.’’
He said corruption was a more dangerous offence than armed robbery and should, therefore, attract stiffer punishment in order to deter others.
"In my opinion, corruption should attract death penalty. People who are saying that corruption should attract death penalty are justified when you look at the many consequences of corruption on the society.
"When armed robbers attack, they rob an individual or a few people of their valuables and may kill in the process and the offence attracts death sentence.
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"However, corruption kills several people, destroys the economy of a nation, health and social systems and affects several people’s lives, exposing them to various kinds of diseases and even death,’’ he said.
Dauda concurred with a recent comment credited to former civilian governor of old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, that 80 per cent of Nigeria’s problems would be solved if corruption was eliminated.
He also said that President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of integrity and the proper person that can rescue Nigeria from the syndrome of corruption.
The lawyer further stated that the fight against corruption should also be extended to the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, if government must win the war.
"I strongly believe that before the anti-corruption crusade can succeed, the president has a lot to do in terms of cleansing the enforcement agencies, especially the police, EFCC, ICPC and the judiciary.
"We have seen corruption cases where suspects are charged to court but because the police may have been compromised and cannot conduct investigation properly, the judge cannot convict the accused.’’
He, therefore, suggested the setting up of special courts comprising reputable, steadfast and incorruptible judges to handle corruption cases.