How to end insurgency, corruption – NBA
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged the Federal Government to reorganise its intelligence gathering strategy if it must win the fight against insurgency.
It said the government must be proactive in its efforts at tackling terrorism.
NBA urged Nigerians to join hands with the government in the fight against terror, saying the battle should not be left to government alone.
“All Nigerians must collaborate with the government and the security agencies in order to address the issue of the seemingly intractable security problems confronting the country, particularly the expanding escapades of the now dreaded terrorists called Boko Haram,” NBA said.
These were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the association’s annual general conference held in Owerri, Imo State capital from August 24 to 29.
The conference, which had the theme: “Nigeria: A 100 years after,” ended with the inauguration of a new executive led by Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN).
NBA blamed insecurity and corruption on bad leadership, adding that values have also been eroded.
“A major portion of our socio-political and economic problems are caused largely by lack of exemplary and visionary leadership,” it said.
The association said the progressive erosion of core values in Nigeria leads to communal disintegration and insecurity.
“There is need for national value re-orientation through leadership by example and the entrenchment of the rule of law and eradication of impunity,” NBA said.
The association called for adequate protection for prosecutors and witnesses involved in terrorism cases as provided by the United Nations’ guidelines for prosecutors.
It urged military hierarchy to caution its personnel on the overzealous display of anger and emotions in their duty so as not to violate human rights.
On corruption, NBA called for a reinvigoration of the criminal justice system as a panacea for dealing with criminality.
“There’s the dire need for the Federal Government to re-engineer and re-invigorate all the anti-corruption agencies as well as grant them more autonomy.
“This is to ensure their impartiality and for them to exercise their powers and perform their functions without fear, favour or prejudice and without interference from any person or organ of state,” NBA said.
To further discourage corrupt practices, the lawyers’ body urged judges to impose the maximum sentences provided in law rather than a mere “slap on the wrist” for those found guilty of graft.
“Judges should be equitable and balanced in the administration of criminal justice in such a way that punishment is blind to status and class.
“Cases involving serious crime should be assigned to very experienced judges in order to ensure that not so experienced judges do not tacitly encourage such crimes through faulty determination of such matters.
“The imposition of fine alone is inappropriate for serious crimes. Punishment should combine both fine and imprisonment to reflect the societal revulsion of such serious crimes.
“The Federal Government, through all stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice should establish a national crime data bank in order to keep information on fingerprints, identification and criminal records of every offender,” NBA said.
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