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Kidnapping now capital offence in Ebonyi

By Dennis Agbo

ABAKALIKI—Governor Martin Elech of Ebonyi state, yesterday signed into law, a bill that stipulates death penalty for anybody that is convicted by a competent court of law for hostage taking and kidnapping of  human being.

Signing the bill, titled ‘Ebonyi State Internal Security Enforcement and Related Matters Law, 2009,’ into law at the executive chambers of the state Government House in a life broadcast, Governor Elechi, said that with reference to the state’s collective peace and security, which he added cannot be imported or imposed on people, that the state has all it takes to guarantee collective security.

“The new law provides among other things, death penalty for the offence of kidnapping and hostage-taking. The law which we have freely given ourselves is the expression of people’s collective-will, through us in the executive and in partnership with the elected members of the House of Assembly.”

The Governor in justifying the new law said “we derive no pleasure in killing but we are in a hurry to ensure that those who deny us our basic lives are themselves assisted to hasten their own destruction. Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary handling.”

It will be recalled that the Governor’s brother-in-law, Mr. Chris Nwankwo was last week kidnapped in the state and ferried to Cross River state, where he was luckily rescued by a hunter, who called other villagers to rescue him from a swamp,  where he was dumped by his abductors.

The incident took place, just as  many other people in the state had been kidnapped and ransom paid. House of Representative member, Mr Darlington Okereke’s mother was kidnapped. Ebonyi state PDP chairman’s mother, Mr Dave Umahi’s mother was also kidnapped.

Others that have suffered the same fate in the state includes wife of a former Commissioner, Mrs. Francis Okorie, wife of a serving Commissioner, Mrs. Julian Adum, among other sons of prominent people in the state.


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