Oshiomhole steps down anti-kidnapping bill

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole may not be enthusiastic to sign the bill criminalising kidnapping by death, which the House of Assembly recently passed into law. 

Oshiomhole explained at the weekend that signing death warrants of convicted kidnappers, which he was ready to do, was a signal that the state “is a wrong place for criminal activities” especially as the non-execution of convicted criminals in the last 17 years had not reduced crimes in the state.

Receiving the Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOs) at the Government House in Benin, the governor said: “There are seven convicts whose cases are being reviewed. I will sign the death warrant of any of them, especially kidnappers, found to have killed any of their victims.

I believe that those who kill by sword should also die by the sword.” Entitled “Law to prohibit act of kidnapping and other matters connected thereto” and which prescribes death penalty for kidnappers, the Edo State 

Assembly on July 30, 2013, passed the bill into law before urging the governor to sign it into law.
However, a Government House source, who did not want his name in print, told National Mirror that Oshiomhole might have stepped down the bill for wider consultations.

The source said that governor stepped down the bill because of the heat a clause that stipulates “level field treatment” of convicted kidnappers whether such kidnappers killed their victims or not could generate.
Another reason the governor stepped down the bill is the recommended demolition of any house used by kidnappers. 
While many lawyers and political stakeholders have threatened to sue the government if the bill was signed, others suggested that the governor may not be willing to sign the bill so as not to make more enemies ahead of the 2015 general elections. But the state Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Henry William Idahagbon, denied that the governor was afraid to sign the bill into law.

National mirrror
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