The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday okayed capital punishment as penalty for kidnappers, if their victims die in captivity.
This followed the adoption of a report presented by Mrs Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Petitions, Human Rights and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).
Tejuosho presented the report of a Stakeholders meeting on a bill titled: “A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Prohibition of the Act of Kidnapping and for Other Connected Purposes”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill was sponsored by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.
The bill prescribed life sentence for kidnappers, if their victims did not die in captivity.
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 is liable on conviction to death sentence.
The bill, which criminalised attempt to kidnap, also stipulates life imprisonment for attempted kidnap.
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 for 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 willfully allows his premises, building or a place or belonging under his control to be used for the keeping of a kidnapped person is guilty of an offence under the law and is liable to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
NAN reports that the lawmakers amended some sections of the bill while debating the report before its adoption.
The bill, which is aimed at ensuring zero tolerance for kidnapping, however, awaits third reading before it will be sent to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for assent.