Osun Assembly okays death penalty for convicted kidnappers

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The Osun State House of Assembly has passed a bill prohibiting kidnapping, banditry and ritual killings in the state.

The bill was passed on Tuesday after it was read for the third time, while the Committee of the Whole made some corrections to certain provisions of the bill.

The Herald gathered that Speaker Timothy Owoeye said the document would soon be sent to the governor for his approval.

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Owoeye added that the 10-year penalty for kidnapping in the old bill had been replaced with death sentence in the new anti-kidnapping bill.

According to him, “Any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instilling fear or tricks or compel another to do anything against his will commits an offence.

“Where the life of the person kidnapped is lost in the process and the kidnapper is liable on conviction, he or she is to be sentenced to death.

“Not lost in the process, but he is released upon payment of a ransom or performance of a ransom act, the kidnapper is liable on conviction to repay the sum he/she received as ransom and to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.”

In a related development, governors from the south-west region 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.

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