Lagos assembly proposes death penalty for kidnappers

The Lagos State house of assembly has proposed a bill seeking corporal punishment for kidnappers in the state.

The bill was sponsored by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa.

Titled ‘A bill for a Law to provide for the prohibition of the act of kidnapping and for other connected purposes,’ the proposed legislation went through public hearing in Lagos on Friday.

The public hearing, which attracted stakeholders, took place at the Lateef Jakande Hall within the Assembly premises.

The bill prescribes that any person, who kidnaps, abducts, detains or captures, or takes another person by any means, or tricks him or her with intent to demand ransom, is liable on conviction to death sentence.

Also, attempt to kidnap, in the bill, attracts life imprisonment, while false representation to release a kidnapped or abducted person, under section 4, attracts seven years imprisonment.

The public hearing, which attracted stakeholders, took place at the Lateef Jakande Hall within the Assembly premises was highly applauded.

Mr Richard Komolafe, from the United Action for Change (UAC), commended the move for stiffer penalty for kidnappers, but said that death sentence was no longer fashionable all over the world.

Mrs Yejide Kolawole, the Director of Legal Drafting, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, said it was essential that the element of conspiracy to kidnap be added in the bill.

“I suggest 21 years imprisonment for conspiracy to kidnap, depending on the level of involvement.

“However, seven years penalty for section 4 is too mild; I suggest 20 years to deter those who would want to engage in the crime.

“On section 5, anyone who instigates kidnapping should be given a stiffer penalty of 25 years, though the person does not participate overtly in the act.

“On section 7, owners of a building used to aid kidnapping should have a higher punishment than mere forfeiture of property,” she said.

Also, a Chief Magistrate in Lagos State, Mrs Seri Sholebo, said it was fundamental to add conspiracy to kidnapping, as the ministry had not been able to convict offenders on conspiracy since 2011.

Obasa, who was represented by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that those who engaged in the crime were not fit to live.

“The best we can do is to elaborate and increase the penalty to deal with the menace,” he said.

Few weeks ago, some heavily armed men had invaded Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, in Eredo Local Council Development Area of Epe and whisked away Vice-Principal, Mr. A.O. Oyesola; the English Language/Civil Education teacher, Mr. Lukman Oyerinde; and four Junior Secondary School 1 pupils.

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