15 July 2024

Death penalty for looters only way out of corruption for Nigeria – Osun lawmaker, Ajibola


An Osun State lawmaker, Kanmi Ajibola has insisted that the promulgation of a law which will make death a penalty for public fund looters is the only way Nigeria can survive its trials.

Ajibola has also in his quest dragged the National and all the 36 states Houses of Assembly to court.

Ajibola, a one-time Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ilesa branch approached the court over the failures of both the Senate President and the House of Representatives Speaker to respond to his letter 30 days after receiving it.

The lawmaker representing Oriade Constituency of Osun State had in the said letter asked both the Senate and the House of Representatives to initiate a bill that would make death a punishment for treasury looters.

In the suit filed on Wednesday at the Federal High, Osogbo, Ajibola who sought five reliefs, backing up his motion with a 53-paragraph affidavit.

According to him, “the respondents in the matter can initiate bills and alter the 1999 Constitution, the Money Laundering, Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Acts, the Criminal and the Penal Codes to suit his request of capital punishments for corrupt government officials.”

While quoting several legal authorities to back his motion, the lawmaker who stated that as a politician he will also not be immune if such a law is enacted lamented that trillions of Naira had been looted by public office holders since independence therefore leaving Nigeria at its point of death.

He noted that the notion of ‘come over to our party and your “sins” shall be forgiven’ has led to several corrupt cases being stalled and these included matters involving Senator Godswill Akpabio, former Governor David Umahi, Senator Uzoh Kalu, late Christopher Alao-Akala among others.

He also cited issues relating to the late General Sani Abacha and the former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori who was convicted and jailed in the United Kingdom for his involvement in the looting of public funds.

Ajibola stated that corrupt public officials had leverage on plea bargaining to successfully steal and misappropriate public funds while the Attorney General’s powers to discontinue any corrupt cases against looters is a deadly blow to the nation’s progress.

The lawmaker disclosed that the introduction and incorporation of capital punishment into the anti-corruption law of China has brought it to the League of Economic Superpowers in the world, notwithstanding its deterring population of about 1.425 billion as of 2024.

“In full defence and paving ways for long and lasting democracy in Nigeria, corruption must be curbed with good and result-oriented laws in a manner it is done in China.

“Due to the non-availability of effective laws to checkmate corruption the way it should be properly checked, there is a loss of peace, order, good governance and good government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It Is my strong belief that, with the present Nigerian corruption status, Nigeria is already by its graveside. It is the constitutional and spiritual duty of courts, agencies, churches, mosques and everybody to resuscitate it at this graveside,” he stated.

Citing Sections 174 (1)(c) and 211 (1)(c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ajibola asked the court to grant his applications for the prerogative Order of Mandamus to compel the respondents to perform their statutory duty of making laws that will pronounce a death sentence on looters of public treasuries.

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