The Senate has said it is not possible for it to initiate a bill that prescribes the death penalty for looters.
The red chamber, however, pledged to support any executive or private member bill that would criminalise acts of corruption.
Godiya Akwashiki, the spokesperson for the Senate, stated this in an interview with journalists on Thursday, November 28, 2019.
Akwashiki explained that it was impossible for the Senate President to direct any senator to produce any particular bills, including one that prescribes the death penalty for looters.
“It is not possible for the Senate President to direct any senator to go and produce a particular type of bill. All of us are elected to represent our constituency from various parts of the country,” he said.
The Senate spokesperson also said different punishments were already prescribed against corruption in the acts that established the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“We have the ICPC Act and the EFCC Act and there are punishments there for offenders. I want to believe we are going gradually. However, any bill that would criminalise looting is a good proposal that the Senate could consider,” he said.
Akwashiki, however, said the executive arm of government, groups or individuals should initiate bills that prescribe the death penalty for treasury looters and see if the upper chamber would not push them through.
He also described as untrue insinuations that senators, particularly former governors and ministers in the red chamber, would reject such legislation in order to protect themselves.
He said, “We started a serious fight against corruption a few years ago when President Muhammadu Buhari got into office.
“The issue of a bill against corruption and looters in the Senate is a constitutional right of every senator, the executive arm of government, groups or private individuals.