Corruption and the Death Penalty By Olu W. Onemola

Published:17 Nov, 2012

?Scoring an abysmal 2.4 on Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a 0 to 10 point scale (with 0 being “highly corrupt” and 10 being “very clean”) that analyses public-sector corruption around the world, Nigeria currently ranks as the 143rd least corrupt country in the world – among the 183 countries profiled in the 2011 CPI. In other words, this means is that we are the 40th most corrupt country in the world. Our 2011 ranking in the CPI drops us by nine places from where we were in 2010, when we sat comfortably (with the same score of 2.4) as the 134th least corrupt country among the 178 countries that were profiled that year. Our 2011 ranking also drops us by thirteen places compared to where we were in 2009, when we had a score of 2.5 on the CPI, and placed 130 out of the 180 countries profiled that year – which made us the 50th most corrupt country in the world. As you can see, we are not improving – at least as far as Transparency International’s well-thought-of CPI is concerned.
With conservative estimates as of 2010 speculating that since our return to democracy, corruption has cost Nigeria over $380billion, it does not come as a surprise to anyone in the country today that everywhere you go, corruption is seen as both public enemy number one, and the most easily realizable means to accumulating wealth today. Corruption, or ‘the Big C’ (as I like to call it), has also become so widespread in our public sector, that one of my former professors, commenting on the state of “institutionalized corruption” in Nigeria earlier this year, alluded to “not being corrupt” in Nigeria’s public sector as a “blatant abnormality.”

With the aforementioned as a guide, let’s play the Devil’s Advocate:

In a country like ours, where the Big C has become not only pervasive, but virtually intrinsic to the current state of our affairs, the November 14th, 2012 calls by the Arewa Consultative Forum – a prominent northern Nigerian ‘think tank’ – for the establishment of a law that makes capital punishment the disciplinary action for corruption, is a development that should not just be taken with a grain of salt and forgotten, or approved without public discussion in the constitutional review exercise.
What this means is that: Yes, corruption has become an epidemic in Nigeria, and it is no longer a crime that perpetrators commit in secrecy, but one that everyone – from the policeman on the street, to the politician in his unnecessarily-extravagant convoy – commits in the open. Yes, corruption has also cost us many lives directly or indirectly – from the hospitals stocked with subpar or non-existent equipment, to the narrow interstate expressways with bumps and curves that kill people everyday, because somebody in a decision-making capacity “took a cut” before the contract was finally awarded. Yes, corruption kills, but should we kill because of corruption?
?In our quest to find honest solutions to the single most prevalent problem in our society today, should we adopt the ultimate punitive action as society’s retribution for being ‘corrupt’, and as a deterrent to others that may want to commit such crimes? Should we also establish a measure, or a gauge to determine the point of no return – the extent to which an individual’s corrupt acts will warrant the death penalty – or should we just call a spade a spade and say: “Giving a squeezed N100 note to a police officer to escape a traffic violation, is as much of a ‘bribe’ as giving a Ghana-must-go filled with $15million to the head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to squash an investigation.”
?If a capital punishment law is established to punish corruption today, noting the number of public-servants that have come, seen, conquered, and squandered the public pot of our national wealth since the 1960s – with many of them still alive and enjoying fruits for which they did not labour – should we make such a law ex post facto? In other words, if we do enact this law, should it be carried out with retroactive force, or should its provisions take effect after it is enacted – which would basically result in a sort of blanket pardon for all corrupt acts committed before it is adopted (if it will be adopted)?
?Should the law also be a “one strike” law? Meaning, should corruption be seen as a one-time-only do-and-die affair, or should there be a tally system that penalizes perpetrators maybe once, or twice, with the third time resulting in the death penalty?
?It is clear that even though there are merits to the Arewa Consultative Forum’s calls for the death penalty to curb corruption in Nigeria today, seeing capital punishment as the answer to our current predicament, leaves us with many more questions. Even though utilizing capital punishment against corruption has (in recent history) worked for countries like China, and our next door neighbor, Ghana (under Jerry Rawlings), setting the procedural considerations aside, we must examine the moral implications and ask ourselves: “What kind of society do we want to become?” Should we be the kind of society that punishes future cases of corruption severely, when we all know that in some way, shape or form, we are all guilty – whether intentionally or accidentally? Should we be the society that accuses our neighbors of taking bribes, when we too have bribed our way out of tough spots before?
?Honestly, I do not have the answers to many of these questions. However, one thing I do believe is that: if we are ever to go down the road of capital punishment, only those without sin should be allowed to cast the first stone.

As always, thank you for your time. Let’s continue this conversation on Twitter: I am @OluOne.

  • stanley

    serious thought there but think about it again do we really have any option here expect to go the capital way with the way things are turning from bad to worst in this country in terms of corruption…I’m no saint but if I should be caught honestly it should be the capital punishment or else we will be going round and round.

    So also the system and our institutions have to be strong coz everyday we hear in pages of our newspaper, facebook, twitter that someone stool this million, billion naira yet no is caught or found guilty.

    Million of people and generation unborn wealth have been stolen by few, people going to bed with hungry, malaria still killing people in this country..the only thing that produce abt 90% of our wealth we can’t manage well..

  • I am strobly in support of capital punishment for anyone convicted of corruption and financial crime in Nigeria, especially the politicians, and that means almost all of them. Maybe we need the Ghana approach.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Congolese Musician Koffi Olomide Arrested In Kinshasa

Renowned Congolese musician Koffi Olomide has been arrested in the capital, Kinshasa, reports the BBC's Poly Muzalia from the city. The reason for the arrest is unclear, but it comes after his deporation from Kenya on Saturday for allegedly kicking one of his female dancers at the main airport in the capital, Nairobi. He denied assaulting her. More Details later. Source- BBC Africa

Osinbajo: PDP Campaign Funds Under Probe Because Party Diverted Public Money

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has explained that the reason the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating some of the stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is because the party diverted money meant for public services to fund political campaigns or other questionable purposes. The explanation by the vice-president came just as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that it has received 41 new applications from political associations seeking to be registered as political...

Dangote Drops Out Of Top 100 Rich List

Following the crash of the naira, Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, has dropped off the list of the 100 richest people in the world. Dangote was the 51st richest man in the world as at March 2016, but he dropped to 101th place yesterday, reported online news website, The Cable. Dangote, who owns the second largest sugar-refinery in the world, remains richer than Donald Trump, American billionaire and presidential...

Obasanjo Should Apologise For Calling Us Thieves, Rogues – Senate

Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, has lashed out at former President, Olusegun Obasanjo for saying the National Assembly was made up of “armed robbers and rogues.”   Obasanjo while addressing State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said the padding scandal rocking the National Assembly confirmed his earlier notion about the current federal lawmakers he described as thieves and rogues.   Urhoghide, in his reaction said the lawmakers...

A Plane Just Flew Around The World Without Using A Single Drop Of Fuel

More than a year after it first took to the skies, a solar-powered plane has completed an epic around-the-world journey without burning a single drop of fuel. The revolutionary, single-seat Solar Impulse 2 touched down Tuesday morning in Abu Dhabi, at the same airport where it embarked back in March 2015. Over the last 16 months, Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard and fellow...

‘Any Single Woman Who Cuts Her Hair Is Frustrated From Waiting To Get Married’ – Ghanaian Counsellor

A controversial Ghanaian Counsellor, George Lutterodt has said that any unmarried lady who has cut her hair indicates that she is suffering from a poverty mentality as she’s not able to go to a salon to fix her hair. He added that it should not be mistaken to be fashion, as it rather represents the lady’s frustration of waiting to get married after several years of remaining a spinster Thoughts? Do you believe him or...

President Obama Gushes Over Michelle After Her Powerful Speech At The DNC

The FLOTUS Michelle Obama delivered a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention which started on Monday where she endorsed Hilary Clinton for president. Her speech drove Black Twitter wild with them saying how proud they were of her. Her husband the POTUS took to his twitter page and wrote

Issuance of Dud Cheques: EFCC Arraigns Business Man At Enugu High Court

e Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, July 25th, arraigned one Samuel Sunday Ovute, a business man and owner of Obuegu & Sons Enterprises, on a two count charge bothering on issuance of dud cheques and obtaining by false pretence, the sum of One Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, Four Hundred Naira (N1, 662,400.00), before Hon. Justice K.I Okpe of the State High Court 11, Enugu. It was alleged by a petitioner, that sometimes...

Why I Visited President Buhari – Ex-President Obasanjo

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday delivered messages from the Presidents of Liberia and Gambia to President Muhammadu Buhari during a visit to the presidential villa.   Obasanjo made this known while answering questions from State House correspondents at the end of the closed meeting.   Although the former president did not divulge the content of the message, he said he updated president Buhari on the outcome of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Africa Export-Import Bank, which he attended in Seychelles...

5 Undergraduate “Yahoo Boys” In EFCC Custody Over N16M Internet Fraud Case

Four undergraduates of the Federal University of Technology Akure, (FUTA) and another student from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, (AAUA) have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.   A statement released by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, said the alleged scammers carried out N16 million worth of internet fraud.   The quartet were arrested at an off- campus residence located at Anuoluwapo Close, Stateline Hotel Road, off FUTA South Gate, Akure, Ondo.   “The fraudsters who are between 20 and 23 years of age...

‘Left Behind’ Co-Author, Tim LaHaye Dies at 90.

Timothy LaHaye, the evangelical minister and co-author of the "Left Behind" book series, died Monday in San Diego following a massive stroke. The 90-year-old minister, the son of a Detroit autoworker, had a stroke while walking down his driveway Thursday to retrieve a newspaper and did not regain consciousness, his son Larry LaHaye told CNN.   LaHaye, along with Jerry B. Jenkins, wrote the blockbuster "Left Behind," a series of 16 novels dealing with Christian "end times" from an evangelical perspective....

DC Cop ‘Threatened’ To Shoot Michelle Obama

WASHINGTON — A District of Columbia police officer has been taken off a motorcycle escort for White House officials after he allegedly said he’d shoot first lady Michelle Obama and “then used his phone to retrieve a picture of the firearm he said he would use,” according to The Washington Post.   The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating and the Secret Service has been told of the alleged threat, the Post reports: The...

Revealed: How Dogara, Lasun, Others Stole Millions From House Budget – Jibrin

The former chairman of committee on appropriation, Abdulmimin Jibrin, today continued his series of revelations on the fraud and corruption perpetuated by Yakubu Dogara. In a statement made available to the press, the lawmaker alleged that Dogara frequently solicits for inappropriate favours from agencies and multinational companies.   According to Jibrin, Speaker Dogara forced an agency to grant loans and also blackmailed a construction company to do some work at his Asokoro 'plot'. Jibrin alsoo...

NASS Should Expect 2017 Budget By October, Says Udo-Udoma

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo-Udoma said the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework would be ready and submitted to the National Assembly for consideration by October Udo-Udoma said this in Abuja on Monday at a Stakeholders Consultative Forum with Civil Society Groups and organised private sector on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework. He also said the Federal Government had expended N2.1 trillion out of the N6.06 trillion approved budget for 2016...

Buhari Drops Shasore, Picks MIT Professor, Akinwande For NERC Chair.

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated , a professor in the electrical engineering and computer science department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as the executive chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).   Akinwande (pictured) will succeed Sam Amadi whose tenure ended in 2015. Babatunde Fashola, minister of works, power and housing, had preferred Olasupo Shasore, who was once attorney-general under him as governor of Lagos. Shasore was one of the aspirants reportedly supported by Fashola for the APC governorship...

Turkey: 42 Journalists Under Probe Over Failed Coup

Dozens of journalists are under investigation for possible links to the attempted July 15 coup in Turkey report said on Monday. Among the 42 reporters is Nazli Ilicak, a prominent critic of the current regime. It is not clear if any of those being investigated have been detained. All the journalists being probed have links to media owned by Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based...

Olympics: FINA Bans Seven Russian Swimmers From Rio

Swimming’s world governing body on Monday banned seven Russians from competing at next month’s Rio Olympics in the fall-out from Russia’s state-run doping. FINA was the first sport to impose bans in light of Sunday’s IOC decision, which ruled against a blanket ban on all Russian competitors in Rio, instead leaving it up to each sports federation to decide whether to accept Russians. Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev, both 4x100m freestyle bronze-medal winners with the...

Lawyer Urges Buhari To Grant Amnesty To Boko Haram Members

A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant amnesty to Boko Haram members in the wake of the defeat being inflicted on the insurgents by the Nigerian military. In a statement issued Sunday, Mr. Adegboruwa said one year after Mr. Buhari declared war on the group, it had become clear that they may not be totally defeated immediately. “It would seem, from all indications, that it will require a...

British PM Rules Out Return Of Hard Border In North Ireland

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday promised a “practical solution” on the Irish border after Britain leaves the European Union in a bid to allay fears about a return to tough checks. She spoke on her first visit since taking office to Northern Ireland, which has what would become the United Kingdom’s only border with the EU after Brexit. “Nobody wants a return to the borders of the past,” May said in Belfast, where...

Update: Ansbach Bomber ‘Pledged Allegiance To ISIL’

A Syrian man who detonated explosives outside a music festival in the German city of Ansbach, killing only himself and wounding at least 15 people, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant group before the attack, according to a senior government official.   The 27-year-old suspect, who was a refugee, blew himself up late on Sunday after being denied entry to the event.   Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria, said on Monday that video footage discovered...

Bear With Us, Saraki Pleads With Nigerians Over Recession

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki has lamented the current economic hardship being experienced by Nigerians, assuring that the Senate will collaborate with the presidency to find a quick and lasting solution to the economic crisis even as he pleaded with Nigerians to bear with the government. Saraki also identified dialogue as a solution to the vandalization of oil and gas installations by Niger Delta militants. He emphasised the need for government to engage...