The Ogun SSG says Nigerian criminal code needs reformation.
The Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, has prescribed death sentence for people found guilty of corruption.
Mr. Adeoluwa also called for the urgent review of the Nigerian criminal code and the Magistrate Court laws.
He made the prescription on Wednesday while delivering a paper titled “Criminal Code, Magistrate Court Law of Ogun State and the Recent Trend of Crimes: A Call for Urgent Reformation” at the annual conference of the Magistrates’ Association of Nigeria in the State.
Mr. Adeoluwa posited that if this is done, the country would be rid of corruption.
“Nigeria penal policy is at cross roads. The starting point to the fixing of this problem is to learn from our mistakes and endeavour to formulate policies on the basis of our experience,” he stated.
“In whatever way it is formulated, it is important that the policy must adopt strategies or measures which may include harmonizing our criminal laws, the removal of factors that encourage criminal behaviour, the offer of incentives and disincentives, education, deterrents and at the extreme end, sanctions,” the SSG noted.
Mr. Adeoluwa said there is a need to reform the criminal code in a way that sentencing discretion is limited in order to eliminate disparate sentences for similar offences.
The SSG said corruption is posing a serious danger to the existence of Nigeria, stating that it is high time the country begins to ex-communicate or eliminate people found guilty of corruption as it is being done in some countries like China.
“In the light of the danger corruption now poses to our existence as a nation today, it is high time we began to excommunicate or even eliminate people found guilty of corruption”, he said.
Mr. Adeoluwa said Nigeria should go the way of China in terms of punishment for economic crimes. “It may look extreme but I think we can go the China way”, he submitted.
Speaking further, he said plea bargaining as a mechanism for expediting the process of justice and clearing the court’s desk is constructive. He, however, noted that in Nigeria, only the rich have privileges under the plea bargain mechanism.
“Plea bargaining in itself is not destructive mechanism, but rather a constructive one. Its essence is to expedite the process of justice and clear the court’s desks to make way for the tons of litigation flooding the courts.
“The reality is that our recent experiments with the procedure shows that it is billionaire offenders that have the privilege, while the common man is sentenced to five years imprisonment for stealing an item worth less than N100,” Mr. Adeoluwa explained.