2nd June, 2011
The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Anti Terrorism Bill.
This followed the adoption of the harmonised report of its Conference Committee on the matter.
Chairman of the Committee Sen. Nuhu Aliyu had presented the report to the Senate.
He explained that the Committee scrutinised the harmonised report thoroughly and urged members to consider it for passage.
The Senate subsequently passed the harmonised report through a voice vote.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the House of Representatives had earlier adopted the bill.
The bill was introduced in the Senate in 2009 and in the House of Representatives in 2007.
It specifically seeks to provide measures to combat terrorism in Nigeria.
Following its passage by Senate on Dec.17, 2010, and the House of Representatives on Feb. 24, they set up a harmonisation committee to reconcile areas of differences.
Senate President David Mark commended members of the NASS for their commitment to the passage of the bill, saying that â€œas an important bill, I hope it will meet international standardâ€.
â€œWith the passage, we are now at par with the international community in tackling terrorism in Nigeria,â€ he said.
The bill provides that a person who knowingly causes destruction to a government or public facility, or endangers human life or causes major economic loss, commits an offence.
â€œA person who belongs or professes to belong to a proscribed organisation commits an offence under this Act and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment of a maximum term of 20 years,â€ it said.
The Senate also in the committee of the whole house, considered and concurred to 13 bills earlier passed by the House of Representatives.
Some of them were the National Bio-Safety Agency (Establishment) Bill 2011; Harmonised Age of Academic Staff of Tertiary Institutions Bill 2011; Personal Income Tax Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2011 and the State Services Pension Bill 2011.
The Senate also received and passed the report of the Conference Committee on the State of the Nation Address Bill 2011.