Delta Legislature Settles for Life Imprisonment for Kidnappers

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• Okowa says death penalty is no longer fashionable globally

Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

Apparently for want of an acceptable harsher punitive measure against kidnapping, the Delta State House of Assembly has approved life imprisonment for any convicted of kidnapper in the state.

The approval by the lawmakers followed the amendment of the Delta State Anti-Kidnapping Law 2016.
The state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, in a letter to the lawmakers appealed for reconsideration of Section 4, Sub-Section 1 of the Delta State Anti-Kidnapping Law, 2016 as passed by the assembly, which made provision for death penalty.

“The Right Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members of the House are aware that death penalty is globally no longer fashionable as it breaches human right to life, both of which are protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948. Besides, there is heightened campaign and overwhelming support for the abolition of death penalty globally.

“Since the world is a global village, Delta State cannot be an exception, hence the passionate call to the House to reconsider the Section under reference and change the death sentence prescribed therein to life imprisonment.
The law approved life imprisonment for any person who contravenes section (3) of the Law.
“Any person who contravenes Section (3) of this law commits an offence and shall on conviction be sentenced to life imprisonment without fine”

The law stipulates thus: “No person shall kidnap or detain another person or prevent another person from applying to a court for his release or from disclosing to any other person the place where he is being or prevent any person entitled to have access to another from discovering the place where he is held hostage with or without demand for ransom.

“Any person who initiates a compromise, settlement or refuses to give testimony in court in respect of offences charged under this law shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to be sentenced to life imprisonment.
“The owner of a property who knowingly lets or allows his property/premises to another for the purpose of harbouring any person is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to life imprisonment and forfeiture of the said property to the state.”