Mulikat Akande, Reps leader backs plea bargain, imprisonment of looters
From GBENGA ADESUYI, Ibadan
Monday, April 09,  2012

Mrs Mulikat Akande, the Leader of the House of Representatives, at the weekend in Ibadan, Oyo State capital opposed death sentence for looters of the nation’s treasury as being canvassed in some quarters as a way to stem the rising tide of corruption in the country.

Instead, she advised that individuals who abused their offices and corruptly enriched themselves should forfeit such property and money and at the same time, go to jail in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Featuring on the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council Personality Interview Programme‘Hot Seat”, Adeola, said, “On the issue of corruption, I do not support death penalty for those found to have corruptly enriched themselves.

I think it is fair enough that they are arrested and made to face the wrath of the law. Killing them would have no other justification once they own up to the offence. I also think that the idea of plea bargaining is okay. We have found that some people get to office and mismanage the place and think they can go scot-free. Plea bargaining will first collect that which has been stolen. It is fair that they have confessed to the offence.

“People should not be allowed to take undue advantage of public office they are assigned to keep in trust for the people for their personal aggrandizement. So, to check abuse of office, the commonwealth that has been stolen must be collected and it should not stop there. Such a person must face the punitive aspect. They must be sent to jail. Such a person must go to jail,” she added.

On the issue of states creation by the seventh assembly, Akande expressed the fear that the issue might not see the light of the day due to many issues yearning for the attention of the lawmakers. On Sovereign National Conference (SNC) being canvassed in certain quarters, she said: “There is no need for sovereign national conference. What are they going to be saying there? State creation, insecurity and others. All these are the issues bothering us at the National Assembly. It would amount to duplication of purpose. The National Assembly members are elected representatives of the people and should be allowed to do so.

“The Action Congress of Nigeria championing the course should rather concentrate on being the opposition party and keep the ruling government on their toes through constructive criticism. They must ensure that they tell the government where otherwise they may be sleeping. I think that is the function of the opposition party.”

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