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Lawyer advocates abolition of death sentence


Abuja – An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Mr Victor Okwudiri, has advocated abolition of death sentence as penalty for any crime or offence in the nation’s law books.

Okwudiri, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday, argued that capital punishment was a waste of “human capital’’ and a double jeopardy for the nation.

The legal practitioner said that there were three purposes to the administration of criminal justice – to secure justice for the victim, to protect the society and to rehabilitate the criminal.
He stressed that “it is only a victim with a vendetta mentality’’ that would want to pursue justice to the point of termination of the life of a human being.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

According to him, taking life as a punishment will not bring back the life of the victim.

“And in the long run society will suffer double jeopardy by losing two persons, the victim and the criminal, instead of one.’’

Okwudili said, “each time a soul dies, the nation looses human capital because everyone has the potential to transform the world.

“The transformation of a place like Saudi Arabia is tied to a man.
“We have heard of great men like Nelson Mandela and Lee Kuan Yew. What if they were killed prematurely?

“The national and global transformation that their nations and entire world witnessed would not have happened if they were prematurely aborted.

“Similarly, if we keep taking lives in the name of punishment for crime, we will be robbing ourselves of great potential that will have been instrumental to the development we earnestly seek,’’ he said.
Okwudiri insisted that life imprisonment was a better option to death sentence.

He, therefore, recommended that the Nigerian Prisons Service should be overhauled for maximum rehabilitation of criminals as obtainable in the western world.

He added that the prison could re-orientate its inmates and positively change the psychology of criminals if they were well managed.

“If re-orientation and indoctrination can make suicide bombers blow themselves up, they can as well be used positively to change murderers to better citizens,’’ he argued.

Okwudiri added that life is sacred and only God gives life, therefore, only God has the right to take life, not the government.(NAN)

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