Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday signed a bill into law specifying death penalty for kidnappers, whose victims died in their custody and life imprisonment for act of kidnapping.
The State House of Assembly had on 5 January, 2017 passed the Bill for a Law to Provide for the Prohibition of the Act of Kidnapping and other Connected Purposes, specifying death and life imprisonment penalty for kidnappers.
The law prescribed death sentence for kidnappers whose victims died in their custody and life sentence for kidnappers whose victims came out alive.
The law states that any person who kidnaps, abducts, detains, captures or takes another person by any means or trick, with intent to demand ransom or do anything against the victim’s will, commits an offence.
Signing the bill into law at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, Ambode said the law on kidnapping was enacted to address key issues bothering on security.
The governor lamented that in recent times, kidnapping had become a major threat to the safety of citizens and therefore required decisive action by the government.
“This law imposes a penalty of life imprisonment for kidnapping for ransom. The law stipulates that where a victim dies in the course of a kidnap, the suspect is liable on conviction to death.
“Security is of utmost importance to our administration and we are confident that this law will serve as a deterrent to anybody who may desire to engage in this wicked act within the boundaries of Lagos state. Our justice system will be required to execute this Law to the letter and make sure that any criminal caught faces the full wrath of the law.
“While we use this law to address the challenge of kidnapping and punish the criminals, we are also putting in place appropriate measures, particularly in our schools and other vulnerable targets, to prevent security breaches,” he said.
According to Ambode, “What we are doing in respect of kidnapping is in good spirit so that we can eradicate it complete from Lagos.”
The governor also signed into law the Lagos State Sports Commission bill and the Lagos State Trust Fund bill.
The governor the Sports Commission Law would give legal backing to the formulation and implementation of sports policies in the State while the Sports Trust Fund would enable government to raise money for the development of sporting facilities and activities.
He explained that this fund would provide a platform where the State government could enter into partnership with the private sector to finance Sports infrastructure, tournaments and programmes which would in turn create employment and generate revenue for the State.
“As provided for in the law, a Board of Trustees comprising all stakeholders in the sports community will be inaugurated soon to manage the Sports Trust Fund.
“By these laws, we have restated our commitment to Sports and making Lagos the hub of Sports in Nigeria. The passing of these laws have been made possible by the commitment and dedication of the Lagos State House of Assembly.”