Governors from the South-West region have agreed to impose capital punishment or life sentence on kidnappers.
The development came against the rising insecurity in the region, especially the recent killing of Mrs Funke Olakunri, daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, by yet to be identified gunmen.
Speaking with newsmen, the Deputy Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr Iroju Ogundeji, said a bill recommending death sentence for kidnappers was already in the Assembly and was awaiting passage.
Ogundeji said, “We are not happy with the ugly development; we already have a bill stipulating capital punishment for kidnappers and the bill would soon be passed into law.
“The bill entails that anybody found guilty of the kidnapping offence will be sentenced to death.”
On his part, the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, said the assembly would prescribe life imprisonment for kidnapping.
Owoeye said, “The bill which I introduced in June to curb the menace of kidnapping has passed first reading. The bill titled “State of Osun Kidnapping (Prohibition Bill), 2019 recommends life imprisonment for perpetrators of the dastardly act.
“The bill has passed first reading but the House has decided to conduct public hearings so as to get the input of critical stakeholders as well as kidnap victims.
“On the issue of death penalty, when the victim of kidnap dies in the process of kidnapping, it is simply a murder charge; and it will be repetitive to introduce new laws considering there are enacted laws in place to deal with the issue.”
The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, said a law for “very stiff penalties” would be passed “after a meeting of all stakeholders in the South-West.”
Although she said the state House of Assembly would not support death sentence for kidnappers, she stressed, “For now, very stiff penalty is okay.”
Both Ekiti and Ogun states already have existing laws stipulating death sentence for kidnapping.