Nigerian state approves death sentence for kidnapping, life imprisonment for rape
London, May 25, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Frequent acts of violent crime have grown to form a major threat to Nigeria’s national security. These include instances of militancy, insurgency and banditry. Banditry includes cattle rustling, armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom.
Kidnapping has remained the most virulent form of banditry in Nigeria. It has become the most pervasive and intractable violent crime in the country.
Thousands of Nigerians have been kidnapped for ransom and other purposes over the years. Kidnapping has prevailed in spite of measures put in place by the government.
The Nigerian police’s anti-kidnapping squad, introduced in the 2000s, has endeavored to stem the menace. But this been to no avail, mainly due to a lack of manpower and poor logistics.
It is equally believed that all efforts to arrest this cancer-worm have also failed because of weak sanctioning and deterrence mechanisms. .
But that is about to change in kastina, a northern Nigerian state. The state governor Aminu Masari on Friday signed into law, the amended penal code of criminal justice system in the State.
The amended penal code of criminal justice now makes kidnapping and cattle rustling, capital offences while rape now attracts life imprisonment in the state.
Speaking during the brief ceremony to assent to the laws, Governor Masari explained that the state is currently faced with security challenges, hence the need to revisit the penal and procedural laws to deal with suspects.
The Governor revealed that the two laws that were signed, particularly the penal code had been amended generally and in particular, the section dealing with kidnappings, cattle rustling, rape and other related offences.
He announced that cattle rustling and kidnappings were now capital offences in the state and attract mandatory death sentences.
He said the offence of rape now carries the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment in addition to fine and compensation for the victim.
The Governor expressed the hope that the reviewed laws would serve as deterrents to those who may be convicted and those nursing the intention of committing such crimes.