Mr Seun Abimbola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and past Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, has cautioned leaders across various strata of the society to be wary of putting ex-convicts in any public position.
Abimbola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ibadan that the Nigerian constitution forbade an ex-convict from contesting an elective position because it had something to do with trust.
“If the constitution prevents a convicted individual from contesting an elective post, it presupposes that an ex-convict should also not be given an appointive post in the society.
“However, it is highly regrettable that certain ex-convicts are currently occupying positions of trust in some states in Nigeria, an action that is manifest in the personality of such people.
“You see, public office is a position of trust, a position demanding integrity and it is a position deserving of those that have not been blemished,” the ex-Oyo State attorney-general said.
According to the legal practitioner, people can approach the court to challenge the appointment of any individual who is an ex-convict.
Similarly, a professor of Criminal Justice System, Olusoji Aremu, contended that ex-convicts under any guise should be debarred from holding any public office except if given state pardon.
Aremu added that as long as anyone was an ex-convict, he/she should remain so both in the face of the law and in the public domain.
“It, therefore, means that the label of being an ex-convict is shaming and should debar such a person from taking a position of responsibility in the society,” the don said.
The University of Ibadan lecturer opined that positions of responsibility should be reserved for people who were above board and not people with questionable character,” Aremu stated. (NAN)