Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State Governor, on Wednesday advocated for his seeming reluctance to sign the bill passed last year by the state House of Assembly pushing for the death penalty for kidnappers in the state.
The governor explained that his decision to give his formal approval to the bill even in the face of disapproval in certain quarters was based on three main factors, including his personal disposition or conviction.
He made the clarifications during a live audience participation programme on local radio and television, Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) Radio/Television in Warri. Answering questions about the worrisome menace of kidnapping and the attendant heightening of insecurity across the state, Uduaghan said he had not endorsed the death penalty bill because “all over the world, the death penalty has not solved or eliminated any the problem of crime in the society.”
The governor argued that even in countries where criminals were made to pay by their lives, the tendency had been that some members of such societies had continued to commit the same or similar crimes. He said the dearth of authorized or licensed executioners in Nigeria was another factor that had discouraged the resort to death penalty in the country.
He observed that the only known licensed executioner in the country had reportedly retired leaving a huge vacuum, thereby stalling the possibility of carrying out legally backed death sentences. “A serving state governor in the country had not long ago signed the death sentences in respect of two convicted criminals, but the execution of the criminals is yet to be carried out mainly because there is nobody with the needed authorisation to carry it out,” he noted.
The governor, however, said due to his “professional training as a medical doctor who is trained to save lives,” he had not personally found endorsing the death penalty appealing.