Archbishop Martins cautions Nigerians on capital punishment, jungle justice

Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has noted that capital punishment was unnecessary as it does not serve as a deterrent.

Martins said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos, in reaction to calls by some Nigerians for the introduction of capital punishment in our judicial system.

The Archbishop, who frowned at the growing trend of jungle justice in the land, said that if not checked, it was capable of setting back our judicial system and turning the nation back to the era of pre-civilization.

According to him, capital punishment as being advocated by some Nigerians, was not only inhuman, but also outdated and unnecessary in a civilised nation like Nigeria.

“I want to state here that there is no empirical evidence to prove that capital punishment does help to reduce crime in the society.

“On the contrary, we have seen situations where innocent persons have been sentenced to death for no just cause, and when such happens, that injustice cannot be reversed,’’ he said.

Archbishop Martins said that criminals should be allowed to serve jail terms and to also make necessarily restitution for their crimes, saying that it would have far-reaching impact on the society.

The cleric, who expressed displeasure on the recent jungle justice reportedly being meted on some suspected Badoo cult boys in parts of Ikorodu, appealed to Nigerians to endeavour to have more regard for the sacredness of human life.

“The activities of the cult group are a reflection of the rot in our society. A situation when so many youths are jobless, only leaves them susceptible to easy manipulation by evil people for selfish purposes.

“I appeal to our youths to refrain from cult activities as it grieves God’s heart. Any act that brings sorrow and sadness to other humans is evil and should be discarded,’’ he added.

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Alfred Adewale Martins
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