Niger to jail kidnappers for life

The Niger House of Assembly on Thursday passed a Bill that prescribed life imprisonment for those convicted of kidnapping in the State.

The bill also prescribed imprisonment which may extend to five years with or without fine or both for those guilty of cattle rustling.

The House passed the bill for a law to penalize the offences of‎ kidnapping and cattle rustling and for connected purposes after the presentation of the report of the Joint Committees on Security and Judicial Matters.

The Speaker of the House, Ahmed Marafa, said kidnapping and cattle rustling were taking a toll on the state, hence the need for laws to tackle them.

“These two crimes are taking a toll not only on Niger state but‎ the country as a whole. Kidnapping and cattle rustling used to be alien to us in this state but now they have become the order of the day.

‎”Often times when people are arrested for those crimes, there are no sufficient laws to prosecute them. But we hope this new law would help to drastically reduce these two crimes”, he added

He directed the Clerk of the House to produce and forward five clean copies of the bill to the Governor for assent.

‎Chairman of the joint committee, Hussaini Ibrahim, said it conducted a public hearing where relevant stakeholders made inputs.

“We invited relevant stakeholders to obtain a wide range of opinions from the public so as to be guided by their views.

“We are happy today that we have this law. Criminals that have been harassing us in the state will now find another abode.

“A 16-year old girl was recently kidnapped and raped by her captors in Gurara and that is why we included that when a kidnapper rapes any lady he shall be sentenced to life imprisonment”, he explained.

The bill also prescribes a prison term of between five and 20 years for anyone convicted of aiding, abetting or assisting the escape of offenders.

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