Convicted kidnappers in Edo State, mid-western Nigeria, may henceforth get the death penalty without an option of fine, if a bill before the State House of Assembly, gets the final nod of members.
The bill for a law which prohibits the act of kidnapping and committing of any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of a person kidnapped in Edo State successfully passed through the second reading on the floor of the House.
Mr. Kingley Ehigiamusor, the member representing Igueben Constituency, who kicked off debate on the bill, said the bill seeks to protect the society and sentence the criminals to death.
Ehigiamusor noted that the rate of kidnapping in the State has become alarming, hence the consideration of the bill for passage.
“A system where an individual or group of people are held captive and unable to free themselves can not guarantee development,” Ehigiamusor stated.
He further stated that the bill was a boost for tourism and investment opportunities, as foreigners will feel confident to come and invest in the state without fear.
The member representing Etsako West, Abdulrazak Momoh said the act of kidnapping was inimical to the development of the state, adding that the crime slows down economic activities.
Momoh noted that the bill was an improvement on the earlier bill passed which was not consented to by the executive arm of government.
According to him, the death penalty, the destruction of property used for the crime and the sentencing of those who connived to life imprisonment was a welcome development.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Uyigue Igbe, therefore committed the bill to House’s Standing Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters with a mandate to report back within 24 hours.