National Conference: Delegates seek 50-year jail for corrupt judges and death penalty for rapists

The National Conference sitting in Abuja has recommended death penalty for people who rape minors, 50 years imprisonment for corrupt judges, and life jail term for those who rape women.

Also, the Committee on Civil Society, Labour, Youth and Sports proposed an amendment to the effect that public office holders or public servants entrusted with public funds, who have being found to have misappropriated money meant for pension or other public funds are to be sentenced to life in prison, without an option of fine.

Meanwhile, a proposal to control the influx of some Nigerians into some parts of the country was greeted with divergent reactions that further exposed the crack at the council chamber along ethnic and regional lines among the citizens.

The motion brought by a delegate from Rivers State, Sargent Awuse based his concern on recent reports of insurgents trying to infiltrate “his home state.”

Awuse continued: “Recall on Monday, June 16, 2014, about 486 suspected insurgents from the northern part of the country, who according to media reports claimed to be immigrant traders, were nabbed on their way to Port Harcourt.

“For those of you who are familiar with Port Harcourt, when you enter the city, either from Omagwa from Aba Zone, you will find oil installations dotting the landscape, so, we are worried because any attempt in sabotaging the oil installations will not only cost the economy of this nation some money, but it can also cause monumental environmental disasters that we may not be able to handle.

His position drew different reactions from some of the delegates as the response was spontaneous, occasioned by discordant shouts of “migrant killers,” “can’t traders travel,” “is there a restriction on where some Nigerians cannot go?”

Bashir Dalhatu, a delegate from Jigawa State said the nation is indeed at a crossroads as a result of the consequences occasioned by security concerns in the country. So, he suggested that there should be restraint when some sensitive issues are to be discussed.

He said, “we must exercise caution when we address very serious national issues. Since the arrest of these nearly 500 northerners, which tagged Boko Haram, we have heard all sorts of insinuations. But they claimed to be traders, calling on delegates not to give serious regard to media reports on the matter, as some reports might not be authentic.

Dalhatu said when the news of the arrest reached the north, “a lot of us were scampering around to actually authenticate this information.”

He explained that information gathered from diverse reliable and independent sources revealed that the acclaimed suspects “are migrant traders who in their usual tradition migrate to the South to carry out their business activities.”