Death penalty awaits kidnappers in Lagos •As Assembly passes bill into law

THE Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a ‘Bill for a law to provide for the prohibition of the act of kidnapping and for other connected purposes’ into law.

The law, among other things, seeks death and life jail penalties for kidnappers.

The bill provided death sentence for kidnappers whose victims die in their custody and life sentence for kidnappers whose victims do not die in custody.

The passage was subsequent to the earlier adoption of a report presented by Mrs Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Petitions, Human Rights and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).

The bill aimed at ensuring zero tolerance for kidnapping was passed after the third reading by the House.

The Speaker, Honourable Mudashiru Obasa, who read the bill for members’ approval, conducted a voice vote before passage.

Obasa directed the acting Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to forward a clean copy of the bill to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for assent.

The bill states that “any person who kidnaps, abducts, detains, captures or takes another person by any means or tricks with intent to demand ransom or do anything against his/her will commits an offence, and liable on conviction to death sentence.”

The bill, which criminalised attempt to kidnap, also stipulates life imprisonment for anyone who makes attempt to kidnap.

The bill is against false representation to release a kidnapped or abducted person. This attracts seven years imprisonment.

The lawmakers also approved 25 years imprisonment to whoever threatens to kidnap another person through phone call, e-mail, text messages or any other means of communication.

The bill provides that “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 purposes of keeping a person kidnapped, is guilty of an offence under the law and liable to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine.”

Meanwhile, the House also adopted the recommendations of its Committee on Youths and Sports on a bill for a law to provide for the establishment of the Lagos State Sports Commission and for connected purpose after debates.