Kidnapping: South-west State Assemblies Mull Stiffer Punishment For Kidnappers

Kidnapping: South-west State Assemblies Mull Stiffer Punishment For Kidnappers

 

The South-west state assemblies say they will establish laws that will impose stiffer punishment on kidnappers in the region.

Lagos and Ogun states already have laws prescribing the death penalty for kidnappers.

According to the Deputy Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Iroju Ogundeji, a bill recommending a death sentence for kidnappers was already in the works in Ondo and was awaiting passage.

The lawmaker, who decried the state of kidnappings and other forms of insecurity in the state, said the assembly was not happy with the development, especially the killing of Olakunrin.

Ogundeji said: “We are not happy with the ugly development; we already have a bill stipulating capital punishment for kidnappers and the bill would soon be passed into law. The bill entails that anybody found guilty of the kidnapping offence will be sentenced to death.”

Timothy Owoeye, the Speaker of the Osun State assembly, stated that the assembly would prescribe life imprisonment for kidnapping.

Owoeye said he had introduced the bill to the parliament and it would discourage kidnapping because of the stiff penalty recommended.

Owoeye said: “The bill which I introduced in June to curb the menace of kidnapping has passed first reading. The bill titled ‘State of Osun Kidnapping (Prohibition Bill), 2019’ recommends life imprisonment for perpetrators of the dastardly act.

“The bill has passed first reading but the House has decided to conduct public hearings so as to get the input of critical stakeholders as well as kidnap victims.

“On the issue of the death penalty, when the victim of a kidnap dies in the process of kidnapping, it is simply a murder charge; and it will be repetitive to introduce new laws considering there are enacted laws in place to deal with the issue.”

The Ekiti assembly has also called for a review of existing laws on kidnapping and banditry with the imposition of more stringent penalties for the offences.

The Speaker of the Ekiti assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, said a law for “very stiff penalties” would be passed “after a meeting of all stakeholders in the South-West”. 

She said the house would not support death sentence for kidnappers, saying, “For now, a very stiff penalty is okay.”

However, the Speaker of the Oyo assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, said consultations were ongoing over the spate of kidnappings in order to get an enabling law that would cater for all the six states in the South-West.

All the six states’ assemblies in the region recently converged on Ibadan for a security summit and agreed to tackle the menace of kidnapping.

Ogundoyin said: “On the issue of whether there would be a death penalty for killer herdsmen or kidnappers, we are going to take a common position on that with other state assemblies in the zone.”

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