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Bring back public execution by firing squads

By Tony Fagbemi 
23 September 2022   |   3:40 am
Never in the annals of our nation has there been such a carnage and utter disregard for human life as we now experience. The time has called for immediate intervention of government.

Never in the annals of our nation has there been such a carnage and utter disregard for human life as we now experience. The time has called for immediate intervention of government. The government must revert to public execution by firing squads for offences that culminate into forcibly ending of innocent life. These include bank armed robberies, kidnappings of all forms, killing for rituals, mass killings as in gathering in places of worships and cannibals. The punishment is to include all aiders and abettors of all the categories of the aforementioned crimes.

The punishment has some attributes if carried out properly. For example those that carried out the dastardly killings in Owo church should be given swift trial and if found guilty should be executed publicly in Owo. By witnessing the public execution, it will not only serve as deterrent but be seen as being held accountable and justice served in a lawful nation.

All cases of such should be tried and concluded at state capitals with alacrity instead of the Federal Capital. In order for the punishment to be effective, time is of the essence in meting out punishment close to the time crime was committed.

There is a legal Maxim: Justice delayed is justice denied. If we are to have a country that protects lives and properties as entrenched in the constitution, then there should the rule of law and violators should be held accountable and punishment should be carried out swiftly and glaringly for people to see. By doing so and when offenders are held accountable, people will stop seeing kidnapping as a profitable/lucrative business.

Those that were living witnesses to the wave of robberies that followed the civil war in the ‘70s will agree that the situation in the country then was bad for the cultural climate of the time; it was a reign of terror by the armed robbers that is similar to what we have now. The situation then prompted the military government to promulgate the Firing Squad Decree for any robbery with the use of dangerous weapons such as guns, daggers and even penknives. The decree went into effect in April of 1971 and notorious armed robber Babatunde  Folorunsho was caught alongside others like William Oyazimo and Joseph Ilobo. They were tried and found guilty and executed on July 24th 1971 at Lagos Bar beach.

This was soon followed by the trials of dare devil robbers like Dr. Ishola Oyenusi, and Lawrence Anini.

The wave of robberies had spread to the old Kwara State but there was ‘a no nonsense’judicial system. The names of Justice Adesiyun, Police Inspector Sunday Adewusi and Prosecutor Anthony Ekundayo readily come to mind. The team made a name for Kwara State as a ‘no go state’ for armed robbers. In their custody then were Lieutenant Usman and Mr. Felix Dumeh, who were tried and convicted for armed robberies after they were caught with deadly weapons and were publicly executed in Ilorin by firing squad.

The decree served what it was intended for; it deterred others and the wave of robberies died down immediately and for another twenty something years there was peace everywhere in the country until recently when people thought that they could get away with any crime, including murder. There is too much carnage with reckless abandon of human lives. Effort must be made to take back the country by all means necessary. The country is at the precipice of total destruction where nobody is safe.

Late General Sani Abacha was once quoted to have said that if any insurgency in the country lasted more than 24 hours, the head of state must have supported the insurgents. We all voted for General Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 as the awaited savior of the nation in crises; we never knew the worst was yet to come.

The time has come for state of emergency to save Nigeria from self-destruction, from inept leadership that lacks sense of direction. Nigeria has become a basket case and, a banana republic. Nigeria has experienced a reign of terror by notorious, dare devil, armed robbers and a determined government had an answer for them, which was public execution. This single action immediately quelled the wave of armed robbery of the ‘70s.

Now is the time to bring back public execution to bear on all aiders and abettors of dastardly crimes.

Dr Fagbemi wrote from the USA.