By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia – Abia State House of Assembly has passed a law, which makes the offence of terrorism, kidnapping, hostage-taking and the use of offensive weapons or explosives, punishable by death.
The law is aimed at tackling the problems of kidnapping, which is rampant in the state, a situation the Speaker of the House, Chief Agwu U. Agwu described as â€œa war situationâ€.
According to the new law, â€œany person who kidnaps or detains another person, prevents any kidnapped person from applying to a court for his release, fails to disclose the place where such person is held hostage or prevents any person to have access to the person held hostage with or without demanding for ransom, commits and offence and shall on conviction be liable to deathâ€.
According to the law,Â â€œno person shall put another to extremes fear, threaten any life by letter or telephone calls or other electronic methods or become an object of dread and any person who with intent to kidnap, frightens another person or group of persons is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for 14 years without an option of fineâ€.
The law also provides that the premises where any person is held hostage shall be sealed up by an order of court, pending the determination of the application for evocation and forfeiture by theÂ state Attorney-General.