By Ise-Oluwa Ige
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), yesterday advised states proposing death sentence as penalty for kidnapping offences to drop the idea in the interest of the country.
NBA said the imposition of death sentence for kidnapping offences would portray Nigeria as a barbaric nation, especially at a time when death sentences are being expunged from statute books in other climes.
But the lawyers yesterday condemned in strong terms the habit of some restless youths resorting to the use of kidnapping innocent Nigerians and foreign investors to settle conflict and for ransom.
They said it was not part of Nigeriaâ€™s custom to embark on kidnapping brothers, sisters and even visitors to settle scores and urged the perpetrators to stop the habit in the interest of justice.
NBA consequently counselled the lawmakers and their governors contemplating the measure to have a rethink.
Chairman of Abuja branch of the association, Mr. Abdul Ibrahim, who gave the advice, argued that the proposal for death sentence by some states for kidnapping offence was repugnant and distasteful and appealed to the concerned states to adopt a middle course in the fight against kidnapping.
The NBA chief spoke at a one-day seminar on jurisdiction, rules and procedure of customary courts organised by the FCT Customary Court of Appeal.
Describing the incessant kidnapping as the challenge of the moment for the nation, the NBA boss appealed to the courts of laws in the country to rise to the challenge so that the crime does not become an accepted usage on practice in our society.
â€œKidnapping is repugnant to natural justice, equity, good conscience and is against public policy and the principle of fraternal co-existence.
“It is not our custom to embark on kidnapping, unprovoked and unbridled attack, on innocent lives ad properties,â€ he said.
Ibrahim called on those involved in the barbaric act to embrace peace, equity, good brotherliness and peaceful resolution of conflicts and differences no matter how deep rooted through law courts.
He commended the authorities of the FCT Customary Court of Appeal for organizing the seminar to create awareness on the functions and mode of operations of the court.
Ibrahim expressed optimism that the court would now serve the grassroots people better with the coming on board of sound lawyers as judges to take justice to the doorsteps of the downtrodden.