The Senate, on Tuesday, passed a bill which prescribed life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of kidnapping. The “Criminal Code Act CAP C38 LFN 2004 (Amendment) bill” was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos).
It amended provisions of section 364 of the Act, which proffer 10-year jail term for offence of kidnapping to life imprisonment. The passage of the bill followed the consideration of the report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central).
In his presentation, Bamidele said the frequency of kidnapping across the Federation and the resultant trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, made it imperative to review the laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators as well as serve as deterrence to would be perpetrators. The bill also removed gender restrictions on the offence of rape and eliminated time frame for prosecuting cases of defilement by extending the period beyond two months.
The Bill, when signed into law, will apply to the Federal High Courts, in the southern part of the country, where the Criminal Code Act is applicable and operational. The Northern part of the country operates the Penal Code.