Godiya Akwashiki, spokesperson for the Senate, has said it is impossible for the senate to initiate a bill that prescribes death penalty for corrupt officials and looters.
Akwashiki is reacting to calls by Nigerians and groups asking for the initiation of a bill prescribing death penalty for treasury looters instead of the lawmakers devoting time to social media and hate speech bills.
The red chamber, however, pledged to support any executive or private member bill that would criminalise acts of corruption.
Akwashiki explained that it was impossible for the Senate President to direct any senator to produce any particular bills, including one that prescribes the death penalty for looters.
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“It is not possible for the Senate President to direct any senator to go and produce a particular type of bill. All of us are elected to represent our constituency from various parts of the country,” he said.
The Senate spokesperson also said different punishments were already prescribed against corruption in the acts that established the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“We have the ICPC Act and the EFCC Act and there are punishments there for offenders. I want to believe we are going gradually. However, any bill that would criminalise looting is a good proposal that the Senate could consider,” he said.
He said, “We started a serious fight against corruption a few years ago when President Muhammadu Buhari got into office.
“The issue of a bill against corruption and looters in the Senate is a constitutional right of every senator, the executive arm of government, groups or private individuals.
“Anybody in the country is free to propose a bill through any senator. If you have such a proposal, get in touch with your senator, sit down with him and convince him why you want that type of law to be enacted.”