Kidnappers and their collaborators are surely in for tough time in Lagos henceforth.This follows the passage by the Lagos House of Assembly on Thursday of a bill aimed at checking the spate of kidnappings in the state into law, with stiffer penalties including death sentence for offenders.
The lawmakers passed the Bill for a Law to Provide for the Prohibition of the Act of Kidnapping and for Other Connected Purposes after the third reading. The passage of the Bill was also sequel to the adoption of a report presented by Funmilayo Tejuosho, the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Petitions, Human Rights and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC.
Sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, it prescribes death sentence for kidnappers whose victims die in their custody and life sentence for kidnappers whose victims do not die in the hands of their abductors. The bill states that any person who kidnaps, abducts, detains, captures or takes another person by any means or trick with intent to demand ransom or do anything against his/her will, commits an offence.
The Bill also stipulates life imprisonment for anyone who makes an attempt to kidnap another person. It prescribes seven years imprisonment for anyone making false representation to release a kidnapped or abducted person. The lawmakers also approved 25 years imprisonment as penalty for anyone found guilty of threatening to kidnap another person through phone call, e-mail, text message or any other means of communication.
The Bill also prescribes penalty for any person, who knowingly or wilfully allows or permits his premises, building or a place or belonging to which he has control of, to be used for the purpose of keeping a person kidnapped. According to the bill, such a person is guilty of an offence under the law and liable to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
The speaker, who read the 20 sections of the Bill one after the other for members’ approval, conducted a voice vote before its passage. Obasa directed the Acting Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni, to forward a clean copy of the Bill to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for assent.