The Nigerian Senate yesterday, passed the Criminal Code Amendment Act Bill, which increased the jail term prescribed for kidnappers from 10 years to life imprisonment.
The bill, sponsored by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, also maintained gender neutrality for sexual and rape cases as well as seeking protection for mentally retarded persons.
This was a sequel to the adoption of a report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on a Bill for an Act to amend the criminal code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to among others increase punishment for the offense of kidnapping presented by the committee Chairman, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.
The bill also seeks to protect mentally challenged persons from sexual defilement and rape through an amendment to Section 221 of the principal Act, which substitutes the words “an idiot or imbecile” with the words “mentally challenged”.
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Senate said the amendment and passage of the bill became necessary due to incessant cases of kidnapping, rape, and defilement across the country.
If the Tinubu-sponsored bill is signed into law by the President, the punishment for anyone found guilty on the offense of kidnapping will be changed from 10 years to life imprisonment.