The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has signed the new Kidnapping (Prohibition) Bill 2016 into law.
Validating the bill at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Senator Ajimobi commended the lawmakers for the accelerated passage, saying that it would help in curbing crime and criminal activities in the state.
He vowed to enforce the law to the latter, warning kidnappers to steer clear of Oyo State in their own interest.
A former Attorney General of the State, Barrister Adebayo Ojo, expressed satisfaction with the law, saying it was a welcome development.
On his part also, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Adeleye Oyebade, promised that the new law would be implemented to the letter.
The bill had earlier been passed into law by the Oyo State House of Assembly, following the submission of report by the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary and Justice, Honourable Olukayode Akande.
The Speaker of the House, Honourable Michael Adeyemo, and the Permanent Secretary/Clerk of the House, Mr Paul Bankole, had earlier signed the bill before the governor’s assent.
Content Of The Law
As contained in the law, a convicted offender would be liable to life imprisonment if the victim is released or rescued unhurt upon the payment of a ransom while the kidnapper would be compelled to pay back the ransom.
Similar punishment awaits any person who procures, engages or gives information culminating in the kidnapping of a victim, as the law considered the offence to carry the same weight of kidnapping.
The law also stipulates imprisonment for any person who kidnaps or threatens to kill, maim or cause bodily harm in order to compel another person, corporate body or organisation to do or abstain from doing any act as a condition for the release of the victim.
Twenty years imprisonment awaits anyone who makes an attempt to kidnap while anybody who aids or abets kidnapping is liable to imprisonment for 15 years upon conviction.
Besides, the law also stipulates 15 years imprisonment or any non-custodian punishment that might be determined by the court for any person who puts himself forward to be kidnapped for the purpose of extorting ransom from his employer or any person.
According to the law, any property owner, who knowingly or willingly surrenders his building over which he has control, to be used for the purpose of keeping, is liable to 15 years imprisonment while such property would be forfeited to the government.
Any person who willingly allows his or her electronics, equipment, instrument, mechanical or movable item to be used for the purpose of kidnapping, aiding kidnapping has also committed an offence and would be committed to prison for 10 years if convicted.
Similarly, any property, monies and other valuables owned or realised by anybody convicted of the offence of kidnapping shall be forfeited to the government for public use.
According to the law, any person who kidnaps another person by any other means of instilling fear or tricks, with intent to demand ransom or compel another to do anything against his will has committed an office.
It also declared as an offence, kidnapping in such manner as to prevent the victim from disclosing to any other person, the place where he is being kept or prevent anybody from having access to him with or without payment of a ransom for his release.