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Lagos Assembly endorses death penalty for kidnapping in new bill

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos

Members of the Lagos State House has passed the a bill prescribing death penalty for kidnappers in the state at plenary on Thursday.

The bill tagged ‘a Bill for a Law to Provide for the Prohibition of the Act of Kidnapping and for Other Connected Purposes into law will become law immediately it is signed into law by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The bill prescribes death sentence for kidnappers, whose victims died in their custody and life sentence for kidnappers whose victims did not die in their custody.

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

Obasa directed the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to forward a clean copy of the bill to Gov. 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, stipulated also life imprisonment for anyone who make attempt to kidnap another person.

Also, 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 message 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 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.

In a related development 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 as resolution of the House.

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