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Osun Assembly seeks death sentence for convicted kidnappers, ritual killers, others

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The Osun House of Assembly yesterday passed a bill seeking death sentence for convicted kidnappers in the state.

The House said that henceforth, it has become a serious crime punishable by death for anyone caught engaging in kidnapping, ritual killings, and banditry in the state.

The bill was read for the third time having passed through a debate to correct identified grey areas by the committee of the whole house of the legislative chamber.

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The Speaker, Timothy Owoeye, assured residents of the state that the House would soon come up with a law that would check rampant kidnapping and killing of innocent people for ritual purposes.

Owoeye stated that with the passage of the bill, Section 364 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38 Laws of Osun State, which stipulated 10 years punishment for kidnappers, stands repealed and replaced with the death penalty.

He noted that where the life of the person kidnapped, restrained or seized is lost in the process, the kidnapper is liable on conviction and will be sentenced to death.

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The passed bill also stated: “Any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instills fear or tricks or compels 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.

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“And if life of the victim is 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 receives as ransom and to be committed to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.”

“Any person who knowingly or willingly allows his premises, building or place belonging to or occupied by him or her and which he has control over to be used for purposes or keeping a kidnapped person, commits an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment of 15 years and such building shall be forfeited to government for public use?”

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Owoeye commended members of the assembly for their diligence and commitment while the passage of the bill lasted.

He said that the passed bill would soon be transmitted to the state governor for his assent as soon as administrative processes are completed on the passed bill.

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