Lagos State government may soon join the growing number of states, such as Edo, Ogun and Anambra, that have imposed the death sentence on kidnappers.
According to a private member bill sponsored by the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Mudashiru Obasa, “any person, who kidnaps, abducts, details or captures or takes another person by any means or tricks him or her 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 is titled ‘A bill for a law to provide for the prohibition of the act of kidnapping and for other connected purposes,’ went through a public hearing on Friday at the Lateef Jakande Hall within the Assembly premises with some stakeholders in attendance.
Attempt to kidnap was also criminalised under the bill and it was suggested that such a person would be committed to life imprisonment.
Also, the bill is against false representation to release a kidnapped or abducted person under Section 4 and this attracts seven years imprisonment.
Furthermore, the bill provides that any person, who knowingly or wilfully allows his house to be used for kidnapping is guilty of an offence under the law and liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of 14 years without an option of fine.
A legal practitioner, Mr Richard Komolafe from the United Action for Change (UAC), who spoke at the stakeholders’ meeting, commended the bill but said that death sentence, was no longer fashionable all over the world.
In his keynote address, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Obasa, condemned the trend of kidnapping in the state, stressing that the act should be punished by the death penalty.
Obasa, who was represented by the Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, said that those who engaged in the crime were not fit to live.
In another development, a total of nine kidnapping suspects who were alleged to be responsible for most kidnappings in Port Harcourt have been arrested at different locations in Rivers State.
The suspects were arrested with various weapons, face masks and an operational vehicle.
Also, five suspects were arrested following the kidnap of some residents of an estate in Isheri area of Lagos State in September.
Gang member of the suspects, one Temmi Enormi, confessed to be a member of the gang that kidnapped the Isheri landlords and was confirmed by other gang members earlier arrested.
Following the arrests, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, assured Nigerians that the Nigeria Police was ever ready and more determined to ensure that all those who engage in vicious crimes such as kidnappings, armed robbery and other criminal activities, did not escape justice.
Similarly, officers from Oyo State Police Command, Gbagi Station, on Friday, killed one of several notorious armed robbers who had been terrorising Tipper Garage area, Ogungbade, in Egbeda Local Government Area of Ibadan.
The image-maker of the Oyo State Police Command, Superintendent Adekunle Ajisebutu, while addressing journalists at the Gbagi Police station, said the police got wind of the attack through a distress call from the public that armed robbers were operating at the area.
He restated the commitment of the force in ensuring that all forms of crimes, particularly kidnap for ransom and other violent crimes were brought to a bearable and tolerable state throughout the country.
Idris urged Nigerians to always be law-abiding and stakeholders in the fight against crime and criminality.
Saturday Tribune gathered that residents in the area had been living under fear, following series of armed robbers incessant attack. However, fate smiled on the the residents on Friday, when one of the unwanted visitors was tamed through the bullet of police officers.
He said the officers reacted swiftly and caught the robbers while in the act. One of them was shot and killed at the spot, while others fled with various degree of injuries.