Senate passes law prescribing life imprisonment for kidnappers

By Chinenye Festus:-
The Senate on Tuesday, July 14, prescribed life imprisonment for anyone who is found guilty for the offence of defilement, The Nation reports.
The red chamber also removed gender restrictions formerly associated with the crime on the ground that anyone can be a victim of it. The bill which also seeks to increase punishment for the offence of kidnapping was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central).
This is in response to the alarming rate of all forms of human abuse in the country majorly occasioned by sexual assault with a very stern decision.
In the last few years, many Nigerian states have passed laws that heavily punish kidnapping. For instance, Section 3(3) of the Lagos State Kidnapping Prohibition Law 2019, punishes kidnapping, where a ransom is demanded, with imprisonment for 25 years. The kidnapper is liable to death if the victim dies while in hostage.
If the Tinubu-sponsored bill is signed into law by the president, the punishment for anyone found guilty on the offence of kidnapping will be changed from 10 years to life imprisonment.
The bill also seeks to delete the statute of limitation on defilement, increase punishment for the offence of kidnapping, and remove gender restrictions in the offence of rape and other related matters.
While Rivers State has an existing law for the life-sentencing of kidnappers, Cross River in January 2018 passed a death sentence penalty for kidnapping.
Nigeria’s Terrorism Act 2011 prescribes 10 years imprisonment for hostage-taking, thereby classifying kidnapping as an act of TERRORISM. In section 2(2) of the law. Enugu, Abia, Kogi, Delta, Cross Rivers and other states have varying punishments for persons caught and sentenced for kidnapping.
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