Kogi House of Assembly has passed into law a new bill for to prohibit kidnapping and other related offences with punitive provisions which include death by hanging for an offender.
The executive bill, which was first passed on August 20, this year, was returned by the executive arm to address obvious lapses that could hamper prosecution of offenders.
The bill repealed the Kogi State Kidnapping, Thuggery and Other Related Offences (Prohibition) Law 2010 was passed at Friday plenary.
Before it was passed into law, the bill was subjected to clause-by-clause consideration at a committee of the whole chaired by the Speaker, Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Lawal, after the House adopted the report of the joint Committee of Judiciary, Justice, Legal Matters, Protocol and Peace and Security on the bill.
The bill criminalized kidnapping and nine other offences colligated to the crime with sentences upon conviction, ranging from death-by-hanging to life imprisonment and forfeiture of premises used by kidnappers, among other sundry sanctions.
However, there was some hiccup during the debate, as issues arising from provisions for sanction on owners of property created sharp reactions among the legislators, as some of them argued on culpability or otherwise of owners of the premises who might be ignorant and innocent of what their tenants do.
Leading the debate on the bill earlier, the majority Leader of the house, Prince Matthew Kolawole said re-enacting the law prohibiting kidnapping and other related offences was timely, given the upsurge in violent abductions in the state in recent times.
The other offences according to him include attempt to kidnap, aiding and abetting, consent to be kidnapped, harbouring a kidnapped person and extortion among others, adding that the penalties were now much stiffer and stringent to serve as deterrent.
He said that section 13 of the bill designated the High Court as the only court in the state to adjudicate on the cases of abduction and other related offences provided for in the bill.
Kolawole cited 29 reported cases of violent abduction in the state in the last two years, including those of the Speaker, Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Lawal’s two children, expatriate educationist, Justice Samuel Obayomi and the killing of his police orderly, Cpl Usman Musa, among many others.
“My colleagues, these crimes flourish because the bill passed by this August House in 2010 has not effectively addressed allied matters concerning the prohibition of kidnapping and other related offences”, the Majority Leader said.
The bill also recommended death by hanging without option of fine upon conviction when a kidnapped person died in the process and life imprisonment without an option of fine for anyone found guilty of aiding and abetting kidnapping.

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