Posted by News Express | 13 April 2016 | 2,694 times
Kidnapping has become a very serious offence in Oyo State, and attracts maximum punishment of death sentence in the event of the death of a kidnap victim while in captivity of the abductors. A convicted offender will however be liable to life imprisonment if the victim is released or rescued unhurt upon the payment of a ransom, while the kidnapper will be compelled to pay back the ransom. Similar punishment awaits any person who procures, engages or gives information culminating in the kidnapping of someone, an offence the law considered should carry the same weight as kidnapping.
These highlight the new Kidnapping (Prohibition) Bill 2016 signed into law by Governor Abiola Ajimobi last Friday, copies of which were yesterday made available to journalists in Ibadan.
It would be recalled that the bill had earlier been passed into law by the state House of Assembly, following the submission of report by the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary and Justice, Olukayode Akande. The Speaker, Michael Adeyemo, and Permanent Secretary/Clerk of the House, Paul Bankole, had earlier signed the bill before the assent by the governor.
The law prescribes life imprisonment for any person who kidnaps or threatens to kill, maim or cause bodily harm in order to compel another person, corporate body or organisation to do or abstain from doing any act as a condition for the release of the victim.
Under the new law, 20 years imprisonment awaits anyone who attempts to kidnap, while anybody who aids or abets the crime is liable to imprisonment for 15 years upon conviction. Besides, the law stipulates 15 years imprisonment or any non-custodian punishment that may be determined by the court for anyone who puts himself forward to be kidnapped for the purpose of extorting ransom from his employer, any person or body.
According to the law, any property owner who knowingly or willingly surrenders his building over which he has control to be used for the purpose of keeping a kidnapped person is liable to 15 years imprisonment, while such property shall be forfeited to the government. Any person who willingly allows his or her electronics, equipment, instrument, mechanical or movable item to be used for the purpose of kidnapping, aiding or abetting kidnapping, has also committed an offence and will be committed to prison for 10 years if convicted.
Similarly, any property, monies and other valuables owned or realised by anybody convicted of kidnapping shall be forfeited to the government for public use. According to the law, any person who kidnaps another person by any other means of instilling fear or tricks, with intent to demand ransom or compel another to do anything against his will has committed an office. It also declared as an offence the kidnapping of anyone in such a manner as to prevent the victim from disclosing to any other person where he is being kept in a way to prevent access to him with or without payment of a ransom for his release.
While signing the bill into law at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Ajimobi lauded the lawmakers for its accelerated passage, stating that it would help in curbing crime and criminal activities in the state. He vowed to enforce the law to the letter, warning kidnappers to steer clear of the state in their interest.
•Sourced from National Mirror. Photo shows Governor Ajimobi.
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