Bill for standard fines, financial penalties passes second reading

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A Bill seeking a system of standard scale for fines and financial penalties imposed by courts, tribunals and other statutory instruments passed second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Leading debate on the bill, the sponsor, Rep. Razak Atunwa (APC-Kwara) said that if passed and assented to, the bill would avoid tedious, repetitive amendments.

He said it would save hundreds of hours of legislative time and money.

Atunwa added that Section 47(1) of the Births, Deaths, Compulsory Registration Act currently stipulated a fine of N200 for forgery and falsification of any certificate.

According to him, the amendment will make provisions for penalties according to levels.

The bill stipulates that a person that forges or falsifies any certificate, declaration or order under this Act shall be guilty of an offence.

It also states that if a person knowingly uses or gives or sends to any person as genuine any false or forged certificate, declaration or order for the purposes of this Act, he or she shall be penalised.

It indicated that the person shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N200 or imprisonment for a term of six months or to both fine and imprisonment.

Atunwa said that the system was used in several advanced jurisdictions across the globe.

In his contribution, Rep. Aminu Shagari (APC-Sokoto), said that the bill sought to codify fines and penalties so that crimes and penalties could be referred to appropriate levels.

Shagari, however, expressed doubt about the workability of the amendment in the country’s judicial system. (NAN)

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