Looters should be barred from running for office —S-Court judge

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Supreme Court judge, Justice Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs, has said treasury looters should be barred from running for office for some years.

He also advocated the use of plea-bargain in the fight against corruption, saying it will help the country’s economy.

Speaking at the annual lecture of the International Dispute Resolution Institute, IDRI, in Abuja, Saturday, Aka’ahs said the approach would save the country a lot of money.

He said: “I think in the long run, instead of having so many people behind bars, it will help our economy if they return what they have stolen. We can tell them to go and sin no more. Then if they repeat, they will be sanctioned.

“Most of those who steal these funds do so because they want to run for governorship or such other positions. If they know that they will be barred for some time, they will be deterred. I think we need a wider understanding of the concept of plea bargaining,” said Mr. Aka’ahs.

Speaking at the event, Lindsay Jones, a professor of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, US, said there should be research programmes aimed at developing multi-alternatives to a law which will transform the law curriculum taught in Nigerian universities to re-think the requirement of justice.

Jones, who noted that it was important for the judicial system to be restorative and not retributive, said:  “We believe that our present justice system that is built on retributive justice can be humanised or completely changed.

“Our aim is to invent new models that concentrate on restorative justice and non-custodial sentencing as the means for positively rehabilitating the perpetrators of crime.”Vanguard

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