Death Sentence And Political Economy Of Kidnapping In Cross River: Contradictions And Possibilities BY OBASESAM OKOI

In Breaking News, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics
Obasesam Okoi
Obasesam Okoi

The recent law prescribing death penalty for perpetrators of kidnapping in Cross River emerged as a dominant, mainstream thriller that shocked the conscience of society.

While I condemn kidnapping in its entirety, I would argue however that the new law is not human rights compliant especially when mirrored against the nature of crime and its political and economic consequences.

Perhaps the governor’s bill was endorsed ab initio and passed into law without debating exhaustively its multidimensional consequences including the conditions under which kidnapping, which is legally a criminal offense, will be tantamount to death penalty and subsequently the confiscation of the private property of the criminal, rather than imprisonment.

Given this contradiction it seems plausible that the law itself is in violation of not just the political rights of the criminal, but also private property rights in general.

I believe the confiscation of legitimate private property is permissible only under the condition of indebtedness.

In the context of kidnapping, both the governor and the House of Assembly have crossed the boundaries of justice so long as they fail to invoke the principle of mercy in dealing with criminal transgressions that hint on the ethical foundation of human rights.

This is especially because the crime of kidnapping can also be motivated by economic deprivation, which in itself is a violation of human dignity.

This law shouldn’t have been passed under the present legislative assembly that is governed by a man whom I believe commands excellent mastery of constitutional law, and has added to his list of expertise aspects of international law that gives him a holistic view in the business of law making.

The contradictions in this law unfold very critical questions, which may have been neglected at the time of debating the bill. How, for example, did kidnapping emerge in Cross River? When did kidnapping become a problem in Cross River? Where does kidnapping occur? Who are the kidnappers? What is the nature of kidnapping? Why is kidnapping a problem?

In order words what motivate people to contemplate kidnapping? Is kidnapping a naturally occurring behavior, or is it politically and economically motivated?

These questions have become necessary because the prevailing security discourse in Cross River is sustained by a straight jacket mentality that sees insecurity through the act of the perpetrator rather than the security guarantor – the state whose duty it is to protect the security of citizens by creating an environment inhospitable to kidnapping.

I will argue therefore that kidnapping prevails in places where state security is absent or non-existent. I believe the focus on legal punishment ignore the causes of kidnapping most often related to economic deprivation or political rivalry, of which power brokers themselves are implicated.

As an alternative the government should focus on addressing the causes of kidnapping rather than punishing the kidnapper without addressing the problem. The Niger Delta conflict has shown that kidnapping is both a political strategy and a criminal enterprise.

Where kidnapping is politically motivated the law must take its course but not to the extent of imposing capital punishment. Where kidnapping is motivated by economic survival the state must balance legal punishment with economic opportunity that gives kidnappers a lifeline.

Finally, the governor does not need “Operation Skolombo” to fight crime considering the economic implication of maintaining a security outfit detached from the state security apparatus – the Police.

The governor seems to have over stretched his security architecture by designing a new structure to perform the duty traditionally assigned to the Nigerian Police Force.

Alternatively “Operation Skolombo” should be overhauled while the budget is invested on job creation target at addressing the “skolombo” crises.

Empirical studies have shown that criminality tends to decrease in societies where former criminals are given opportunity to emerge as responsible citizens.

Ayade should focus on promoting laws that will transform criminals into self-sufficient responsible citizens rather than sending them to early graves and confiscating their property while the main problem of joblessness remain unsolved.

Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism


CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.

Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.

Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.

CLICK HERE

New Feature: Don't miss any of our news again.Get all our articles in your facebook chat box.Click the Facebook Messenger Icon below to subscribe now

Text Advert by CRWatch :Place Yours

Will You To Learn How To Make Millions Of Naira Making Special Creams From Your Kitchen?.Click Here


Expose Your Business And Make More Sales. Advertise On CrossRiverWatch.com Today

You may also read!

New Calculations Emerge In PDP Chairmanship Race

By Chuks Okocha, This Day Newspaper As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Committee for the zoning of offices in

Read More...

Lafarge Africa Plc Empowers 25 Women, Charge Them To Be Good Ambassadors

By Patrick Obia A leading producer of cement in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, Lafarge Africa Plc has

Read More...

Cross River: We’d Bring Back PDP Members Who Defected To APC, Says NASS Caucus

By Judex Okoro, The Sun News Members of the Cross River State PDP caucus of the National Assembly have

Read More...

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu

Share this now