Offense and punishment are two concepts that are indispensable to the harmony and nonviolent co-existence of a country. The goal of every society is that every citizen should pursue his/her interest and ambitions without fear or hindrance from another co-citizen.
In achieving this, every society of man has always put in place laws and norms that regulate the interaction of the citizens. Certain behaviors in society that threaten societal goals are collectively viewed with disfavor. Such actions are normally collectively recognized by the mortals of every society.
The Nigerian penal system derives its fundamental ideas from the British legal system, customary laws, and Islamic sharia laws. Like in many other societies, offense and punishment in Nigeria can be more equitably explored when seen against the role of socioeconomic power and political impact on arrests and incarceration. In this article, I shall consider the concept of offense and punishment from varieties of backgrounds.
General Offenses and their Punishments in Nigeria
These are the most famous offenses and their suitable punishments in Nigeria:
1.0 Bribery and Corruption
Bribery is an illegal offense that refers to giving something, either in cash or in-kind, for the sole aim of acquiring authority, influence, wealth, power, etc. unlawfully. Corruption is when someone abuses his/her post of responsibility or power just to acquire illegal resources. The Punishment for this offense is three years imprisonment.
Banditry is executed by illegal groups managed and controlled by hoodlums. Also, they involve in rampageous and destructible action, just to destroy any community or beings of their choice. The Punishment for this offense is prosecution based on concomitant offenses.
Kidnapping is an unlawful act of capturing and carrying away a person against their will and holding them in false imprisonment. The Punishment for this offense is life imprisonment.
Rape is an offense typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will. Also, it is an unlawful sexual activity and usually, sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person’s will or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception. The Punishment for this offense is life imprisonment.
5.0 Stealing / Highway Robbery / Armed Robbery
Robbery is larceny by the threat of violence. Also, it is the action of taking property unlawfully from a person or place by force or threat of force. The Punishment for this offense is seven years imprisonment with or without a fine.
6.0 Economic Crime
Economic crime refers to illegal deeds perpetrated by a person or group of persons so as to gain financial or monetary benefit. The Punishment for this offense is a minimum of seven years imprisonment with or without a fine.
7.0 Advance-fee Scam
Advance-fee scam, also known as Nigerian prince scam or 419 scams is a kind of scam and one of the most well-known types of assuredness tricks. The scam typically means assuring the victim a meaningful percentage of a huge amount of money, in return for a little up-front payment, which the swindler claims will be used to collect the huge amount. If a victim executes the payment, the swindler either creates a series of extra or additional fees for the victim to pay or simply abscond. The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail and is now common in online communications like electronic mails or letters. The Punishment for this offense is a minimum of fourteen years imprisonment with or without a fine.
8.0 Cyber Crime
Cybercrime is a criminal activity committed using a computer especially to illegally access, transmit, or manipulate data. Also, it is an offense committed on the internet using the computer as either a tool or a targeted victim. The Punishment for this offense is a fine of ten million Naira or five years imprisonment.
Terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Also, it is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. The Punishment for this offense is life imprisonment, but if murder is committed then the terrorist would be sentenced to death.
10.0 Financial Crime
Financial crime is an offense committed against property, including the illegal change of the ownership of the property to one’s own personal use and advantage. Financial crime threatens people in every aspect of their lives: at home, at work, online and offline. Financial crimes may involve theft, fraud, deception, blackmail, corruption, money laundering. The Punishment for this offense is a minimum of fourteen years imprisonment with or without a fine.
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