Ekiti House passes law prescribing death penalty for cultists
The Ekiti State House of Assembly yesterday passed a law prescribing death penalty for anyone found guilty of engaging in cultism and reviewed upward punishments for those who aid and abet the crime.
House Leader of Business, Akinyele Olatunji, who introduced the Secret Cult (Abolition and Prohibition Amendment Bill, 2017), called the House attention to the incessant killing of students at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) and other tertiary institutions in recent times.
He said the state was known for peace and that the lawmakers will not allow any individuals or groups to turn it into death arena.
He expressed appreciation to Governor Ayodele Fayose, who took urgent steps to forward the bill to the House.
Speaker of the House, Kola Oluwawole, said: “We cannot fold our arms while some people would constitute themselves to menace of eliminating the lives of innocent people of this state.
“It is an everlasting sorrow for someone to lose his child or relative. The bill will reshape the lives of our youths. It will touch those who intend to join any secret cults and those who have the intention to take another person’s life.
“Those people we are representing will have peace of mind that their lives and those of their children are safe. The bill considers very seriously the negative consequences of such action because of the irreparable loss of lives.”
Others who spoke, included the Deputy Speaker, Olusegun Adewumi; Titilayo Akerele; Sina Animasaun; Dayo Akinleye; Cecilia Dada and Samuel Omotoso.
They agreed that it would always take a lot of work to raise a child from the cradle and that to watch that child killed in the name of cultism is not a good experience, adding that the House’s decision to give the bill express passage could not have come at a better time.
Afolabi Akanni called the attention of the House members to the activities of Yahoo and 419 boys who he said, almost turned Ekiti into their abode.
He said security agencies should rise up to their duties over the menace.
The original bill, which was introduced during the first term of Governor Fayose, was amended from the previous seven-year imprisonment for convicted cultists to death penalty, while the punishment for people who aid or abet the crime rose from five-year imprisonment to life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the House yesterday passed the state 2017 Revised Appropriation Bill into law. It said this followed the report of the House Finance and Appropriation Committee on Finance, which formed the basis of its passage into law.
The revised estimate stood at N93 billion, as against the N94.4 billion, as approved in the original budget of the year.
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