Festus Keyamo has echoed President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement against ballot boxes snatchers and advised anyone with the the intention to desist.
However, Festus Keyamo is in full support of the statement and even praised the President for it.
In a report by The Vanguard, he said, legally, it was the right thing to say and he would encourage Buhari to repeat it if he has to.
“I have listened to so many uninformed comments, since yesterday, and comments that have political interpretation. But let me tell you straight away, there is no spin to put to the statement of Mr President, there is no need to repackage it.
“What the President said, 100% correct, 100% defensible and I will urge him to repeat it over and over again. “Let me make it very clear, that Mr President said, whoever leads a band of thugs to go and snatch ballot boxes will pay dearly for it with his life. That is a correct statement of the law, because, if you look at the definition of thugs.
“People speak without looking at definitions. A thug is a murderer, robber, and a vicious person. The law is that when you are found at the scene of a crime committing violence that will put the lives of people in danger, you can be shot dead on the spot.
“Every lawyer knows that one of the defenses of criminal liability is what we call ‘Justification and Excuse’. In this situation it is justification and excuse. People have cited the electoral act and I said these people are ignorant. They said the electoral act states that those who are caught in snatching ballot boxes should be given a fine and three years imprisonment and all kinds of things.
“But I will tell you that under the law, if a person commits an offence, the prosecutor has an option to charge him under different laws.
“If those who snatch ballot boxes are robbers, by definition of the law, because if you take anything by force, you are a robber and that’s the definition of armed robbery under the ‘Robbery and Fire arms act’.
“So if you come to a police station, take note, you don’t even have to be armed, but in most cases they are armed. The Robbery and Fire arms act, says that, ‘if you just threatened violence or use violence, you don’t have to be armed’.
“For instance if you use a blow to threaten somebody or to actual hit somebody to snatch the persons bag, that is armed robbery. Even though you are not carrying a weapon. It’s armed robbery, under the Robbery and Fire arms act. And what is the punishment, ‘the punishment is death sentence’, under that act.
“Also, if you try to intimidate and overhaul the state, to take power by force under the constitutional means, that can be ‘Treason or Treasonable Felony’ and I can charge the person under treason or treasonable felony because you are trying to change the government by force. By snatching ballot box under the constitutional means, you can be charged for treason or treasonable felony. And the punishment for treason is death.
“So for Christ sake, I make no other coloration to what Mr President said, I make no other excuse, the President stated the correct position of the law, and I will tell Mr President to repeat it over and over again.