The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday approved the death penalty for kidnappers whose victims died in their custody.
It followed the adoption of a report presented by Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Petitions, Human Rights and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, Adefunmilayo Tejuosho.
Mrs. Tejuosho had presented the report of a stakeholders meeting on a bill entitled “A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Prohibition of the Act of Kidnapping and for Other Connected Purposes.”
The bill was sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa.
It prescribed life sentence to kidnappers, whose victims did not die in their custody.
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 liable on conviction to death sentence.
The bill, which criminalised attempt to kidnap, also stipulated life imprisonment for anyone who makes attempt to kidnap another person.
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 to 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 wilfully allows or permits his premises, building or a place or belonging to which he has control of, to be used for the purposes of keeping a person kidnapped is guilty of an offence under the law and liable to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
Lawmakers amended some sections of the bill during the debate on the committee report before adoption.
The bill, aimed at ensuring zero tolerance for kidnapping, however, awaits third reading before it will be sent to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for assent.