Stop Crime, Not Lives – Abolish the Death Penalty

For more than 15 years the Federal Government and state governments in Nigeria, contrary to international law have continued to extend crimes to which the death penalty applies. The moment a crime assumes notoriety or begins to overwhelm law enforcement agents, governments’ response has been to impose the death penalty for such crime(s). When kidnapping became the trend in South-east and South-south Nigeria most affected state governments prescribed the death penalty.

The Federal Government responded to the surge in terrorism in the North-east and North-west Nigeria by imposing the death penalty. There is even a clamour that the death penalty be made to apply to official corruption, vandalization of oil installations, and oil bunkering. What advocates for the death penalty fail to understand is that the death penalty does not keep society safe.

Time for a Multi-Sector Approach for Fundamental Reform of Legal and Judicial Systems in Nigeria

The rationale for justice administration and the rule of law is the desirability and indeed necessity of resolving conflicts within, and not outside, the legal and judicial system and framework. In the absence of a properly functioning legal and judicial system, force rather than law would rule and anarchy would result.
 
But the much-sought-after functional judicial system requires an enabling environment made up of certain features. First and foremost, all persons and authorities no matter their status must be subject to the law and equal before it. Second, the judiciary must be truly independent and totally free from executive or other interference.

An Independent Judiciary Crucial for 2015 Elections

I am concerned about the political condition of the country going into 2015 elections. With the glaring desperation of politicians across parties; I fear the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be overstretched and the Judiciary will yet again be the only hope in ensuring stability of the country pre and post 2015. The Judiciary very likely will be called upon to decide with finality the eligibility of the President to contest the 2015 elections and several other pre and post election issues that will arise. To effectively do that the Judiciary must have political and financial capacity.

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