2 February 2013

Nigeria: NBA Advocates Stiffer Punishment for Corruption

Abuja — The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Friday in Abuja called for an amendment of the Penal Code to make sure that persons convicted for corruption did not get off with light punishment.

It also called on government to explore the offer of ceasefire by Boko Haram, even though it described the offer as doubtful.

Reacting to the two years sentence or an option of N750,000 fine imposed on Mr John Yusuf convicted for complicity in the pension fraud scam, the NBA said the law under which he was tried was inadequate.

This is contained in a communiqué issued by the association at the end of a two-day peace and security summit held in Abuja.

The association's President, Chief Okey Wali, SAN, while reading the communiqué said: "On the conviction of Yusuf, it is obvious that the law is inadequate and so the sentence is inadequate, that is why we are calling for these amendments of the law.

"Our position on the conviction of Yusuf is that we do not speak off the cuff but from what we gathered the law on which he was charged says two years with an option of fine, so we would be calling for an amendment of that law, cause he is getting away with so much with little punishment."

He said the criminal/ penal code in use in Nigeria was a 1916 ordinance stating that it should not still be in the present day and age.

He said there was no noticeable strong will on the part of the government to fight corruption.

NBA called for the amendment of the law establishing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and strengthen the penalties for corruption.

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