Delta Assembly commutes sentence for kidnappers to life jail
The Assembly took the decision following the amendment of the Delta State Anti-Kidnapping Law 2016 on Tuesday.
The decision to review the penalty was sequel to a letter from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to the lawmakers appealing for reconsideration of Section 4, Sub-Section 1 of the Delta State Anti-Kidnapping Law, 2016.
Recall that the death penalty stipulation had been resisted by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who refused to sign the Bill into law but was vetoed by the Assembly under the speakership of Victor Ochei.
The letter from Governor Okowa read: “The Right Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members of the House are aware that death penalty is globally no longer fashionable as it breaches human right to life and torture, both of which are protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948. Besides, there is heightened campaign and overwhelming support for the abolition of death penalty globally.
“Since the world is a global village, Delta State cannot be an exception, hence the passionate call to the House to reconsider the Section under reference and change the death sentence prescribed therein to life imprisonment.”
The lawmakers amended the law thus: “Any person who contravenes section (3) of this law commits an offence and shall on conviction be sentenced to life imprisonment without fine”
According to the law, “No person shall kidnap or detain another person or prevent another person from applying to a court for his release or from disclosing to any other person the place where he is being or prevent any person entitled to have access to another from discovering the place where he is held hostage with or without demand for ransom.“Any person who initiates a compromise, settlement or refuses to give testimony in court in respect of offences charged under this law shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to be sentenced to life imprisonment
“The owner of a property who knowingly lets or allows his property/ premises to another for the purpose of harbouring any person is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to life imprisonment and forfeiture of the said property to the State”. ORDERPAPER.NG