The United Kingdom and the United States have said they are not in support of the death penalty for corruption proposal.
The apex body of the North, Arewa Consultative Forum, had in its memorandum to the National Assembly on the current constitution review exercise, proposed maximum punishment for corrupt individuals. The United Kingdom however told SUNDAY PUNCH that it did not support the death penalty recommendation.
The Political and Press Secretary, British High Commission, Abuja, Hooman Nouruzi, in an electronic mail to our correspondent’s enquiry said, “As a matter of principle, the United Kingdom government opposes the use of death penalty in all circumstances.”
Britain however said it found the public consultations taking place as part of the National Assembly’s constitutional review process remarkable.
“We encourage open and wide consultation on such critical issues affecting the future of Nigeria. The UK Department for International Development has supported the House of Representatives in their work, especially the recent launch of engagement with the 360 constituencies. The substance of the specific discussions under the constitutional review process is a matter for the Nigerian legislators and citizens,” Nouruzi added.
Similarly, the United States in its reaction to the ACF proposal told our correspondent that the nation only reserved capital punishment for crimes such as murder and rape. It however added that each state in the US had independent jurisdiction on such cases.
Mr. Sani Mohammed of the Public Affairs department, US Embassy, Abuja, said, “In the US, capital punishment is reserved for violent crimes as upheld by the US Supreme Court in 1976 (Gregg v. Georgia – reaffirmed use of death penalty in the US) and again in 2008 (Kennedy v. Louisiana – the state’s use of the death penalty is reserved only for crimes where the victim’s life was taken). “Rulings on such cases fall under the jurisdiction of the individual US states.”