A legal practitioner, Mr. Adeyemi Adefulu, have commended the Lagos State Government for retaining the death penalty in its statute books.
Adefulu, President, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), told reportesr in Lagos that the decision reflected the peculiar socio-economic situation of the state.
“Our laws must reflect our socio-economic situation and circumstances. You can’t just import laws from overseas or the values behind those laws into the country.
“The law of a country is a function of the development of that country. The socio-economic circumstances of countries are not the same.
“We are not exactly on the same level with Sweden, Britain, U.S., Germany or Norway. We are a peculiar people on our own,’’ he said.
Adefulu said that until recently death penalty was prevalent in most states in the U.S.
According to him, most of the states changed and later abolished the practice following their socio-economic developments.
“For us, our socio-economic situation must inform our legal development and jurisprudence. The laws must be designed to achieve certain purposes. The criminal justice system must have a corrective goal.
“We cannot just copy other countries for the sake of it. I think what the Lagos State Government did must have been informed by their own evaluation of the peculiar circumstances of the state.
“The fact that at this time of our development, we still need the capital punishment, I do not have the resources to fault that,’’ Adefulu said.
Reports say that the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, had on February 19, said the state has retained death penalty in its Criminal Justice Law.
Ipaye said that the State’s Executive Council arrived at the decision based on the result of a survey conducted on residents of the state.