28th November, 2011
The new Criminal Law of Lagos State, South West Nigeria has imposed life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of terrorism.
The new law was made known at a one-day stakeholders meetingÂ which had lawyers and others in attendance.
Section 401 of the criminal law on terrorism defined terrorism as basically an organized means of committing violent crime while Section 401 (i) stipulates that â€œproviding or collecting money for financing of act of terrorism shall be punishable with life imprisonment.â€
Sub-section two of Section 401 added that â€œcarrying out, attempting acts of terrorism and participating in or facilitating acts of terrorism is punishable with life imprisonment.â€
Sub-section three of Section 401 states that â€œproviding finance or making any other related services available to facilitate acts of terrorism is punishable with life imprisonment.â€
Section 402 defines terrorism to include â€œany act endangering life, physical integrity etc calculated or intended to intimidate, put in fear, coerce or induce any government, body or institution, the general public or any segment of it to do or abstain from doing any act or to adopt or abandon a particular stand point, or to act according to certain principles.â€
The law stipulates that â€œa person who participates in terrorist activities will still be liable for any other offences such as murder that might have occurred in the course of their activities.â€
Also, the new law made provision for kidnapping. Section 269 (3) of the law states that kidnappers will be sentenced to 21 years imprisonment where the kidnappers demand for a ransom before the release of the victim.
Speaking at the event, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye said that the new criminal law was to promote an orderly society, and to foster collective obligation and duty towards the preservation and protection of lives and property.
He disclosed that the stakeholdersâ€™ meeting was held to bring Judges of the High Court, Magistrates, Nigerian Bar Association officials, public prosecutors, officers of the Nigeria Police and other stakeholders together to discuss and exchange ideas on how criminal justice administration could be dealt with effectively and to review and determine the likely implications of the contents of criminal law.
â€” Kazeem Ugbodaga