Kidnapping epidemic: Kano, nine others mull death sentence, life jail - LagosTrend

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Kidnapping epidemic: Kano, nine others mull death sentence, life jail

 


Amid the growing concern over the raging abduction epidemic in the country, no fewer than ten states have vowed to implement the death sentence and life imprisonment for convicted kidnappers.

The states made the vow on Tuesday as the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, deployed intelligence squads to state commands and formations to tackle the wave of abductions and other crimes across the country.

States including Kano, Benue,  Bayelsa,  Enugu,  Anambra, and Nasarawa and another northern state in separate interviews with The Lagostrend affirmed their commitment to applying the death sentence to anyone convicted of kidnapping in their jurisdictions.

Officials of Kwara, Ondo, and Osun states vowed to ensure the implementation of relevant anti-kidnapping laws including life imprisonment.

The nation has been on edge over the wave of abductions sweeping across several states and the Federal Capital Territory in the past few weeks.

Dozens of victims have been abducted by gunmen and millions of naira extorted from them in what appeared to be an organised criminal enterprise.

In Kano State,  the Director-General of Media and Publicity, Sanusi Tofa, confirmed that the administration of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf would apply the anti-kidnapping law which prescribed the death sentence for convicts.

We will continue with the death sentence on kidnappers as approved by the immediate past administration,’’ Tofa told The Lagostrend on Tuesday.

The Anti-kidnapping, Abduction and Forced Labour Bill were signed into law by the immediate past administration of former governor Abdullahi Ganduje after its passage by the state House of Assembly in October 2016.

The anti-kidnapping law had been in existence since the colonial era, but it did not provide any serious punishment for kidnappers until it was amended by the state assembly.

Under the revised law, any person found guilty of kidnapping would face life imprisonment without an option of a fine.

However, the former governor in 2019 approved the death penalty for anyone found guilty of kidnapping across the state.

“The law provides for death sentence for kidnappers who abduct and kill their victim, while kidnappers who abduct but did not kill their victim, if apprehended and found culpable, would be jailed for life”, Ganduje had said while signing the amended bill into law in 2019.

On his part, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order in Benue State, Fidelis Mnyim, assured that the administration of Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia was committed to the implementation of the anti-kidnapping law which stipulated the death sentence for abductors.

He explained that several kidnap suspects had been arraigned in court.

Benue threatens kidnappers

He said, “The present administration is 100 per cent committed to the implementation of anti-kidnapping law of the state.’’

 Asked how many of such cases have been handled, the commissioner said, “There are a lot of cases that have been filed in this regard. We don’t jump and implement the law, our legal jurisprudence is in such a way that if you catch someone on sight committing a crime, the person, in the eyes of the law is presumed innocent until such a person is found guilty by the court.’’

Former governor Samuel Ortom had on the same day signed into law the Open-grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017, and the Adoption, Hostage-taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult, and Other Related offence, 2017.

The law further stipulates that anyone whose house was used for unlawful detention and kidnapping, if found guilty, is liable to the death sentence.

Also, whoever permitted his premises to be used for hostage-taking will forfeit the property to the government.

Governor Abdullahi Sule assented to the bill passed by the state House of Assembly.

He explained that the law was enacted to tackle kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnap, attempt to kidnap, fake kidnap, false representation to release a kidnapped victim, and assisting in the escape of kidnappers.

Speaking while signing the bill, Sule had said, “I need to state that the Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law was extensively deliberated and passed by the state House of Assembly.

“This law spells out various offences relating to kidnapping and prescribes stringent punishment for perpetrators, such as life imprisonment and the death penalty.

 “The law stipulates forfeiture of any property used by kidnappers in the state while the owners of such a property would be liable to 20 years jail term.”

Speaking on the measures put in place to eliminate abductions in Ondo, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Charles Titiloye, confirmed that the anti-kidnapping law was being implemented in the state.

The law, he noted, was passed to protect the people of the state.

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