By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
LAGOS— Anyone convicted of terrorism in Lagos State will now be committed to life jail, while kidnappers who demand for ransom before the release of the victim will face 21 years imprisonment, in accordance with Lagos State new criminal law.
“A person who participates in terrorist activities will still be liable for any other offences such as murder that might have occurred in the course of their activities” the new law stipulates.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, pointed out that the new criminal law was to promote an orderly society, and foster collective obligation and duty towards the preservation and protection of lives and property.
The event, which was witnessed by members of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, other prominent societal persons, received much commendation from the participants after the new law was made known to them.
Ipaye said: “The stakeholders’ meeting was held to bring Judges of the High Court, Magistrates, Nigerian Bar Association officials, public prosecutors, officers of the Nigeria Police and other stakeholders together to discuss and exchange ideas on how criminal justice administration could be dealt with effectively and to review and determine the likely implications of the contents of criminal law.”
According to the new law, terrorism is basically an organised means of committing violent crime, which is stipulated in Section 401 (i) that “providing or collecting money for financing of act of terrorism shall be punishable with life imprisonment.”
Section 402 of the new law defines terrorism to include “any act endangering life, physical integrity etc calculated or intended to intimidate, put in fear, coerce or induce any government, body or institution, the general public or any segment of it to do or abstain from doing any act or to adopt or abandon a particular stand point, or to act according to certain principles.”
Sub-section two of Section 401 states: “carrying out, attempting acts of terrorism and participating in or facilitating acts of terrorism is punishable with life imprisonment.”
Furthermore, Sub-section three of Section 401 says: “providing finance or making any other related services available to facilitate acts of terrorism is punishable with life imprisonment.”
The new law also stipulates that “a person who participates in terrorist activities will still be liable for any other offences such as murder that might have occurred in the course of their activities” and made provision for kidnapping under Section 269 (3), stating that kidnappers will be sentenced to 21 years imprisonment on failure to release their victims without any intervention or ransom.