Tuesday, 15 November 2016

House of Reps proposes life imprisonment for terrorists, kidnappers

The House of Representatives has resolved to prescribe tougher penalties for terrorism, which may include “a maximum of life imprisonment.”In a similar way, anyone who facilitates or aids the escape of a suspect
held for an act of terrorism shall also face life imprisonment. Sponsors of terrorism will equally face the penalty of life imprisonment as those who commit the crime.

These prescriptions are part of the two consolidated bills which have now passed second reading at the House.

The bills are “A Bill for an Act to Make Provisions for Offences Relating to Terrorism, Prohibit the Financing of Terrorism and Consolidate all Acts Relating to Terrorism and for Related Matters” and “A Bill for an Act to Amen the Terrorism Act 2011 for the Purpose of Applying Stringent Prison Terms for Offences of Terrorism, an Remove the Ambiguities in the Act and for Related Matters.”

The bills, sponsored by Mohammed Monguno and Ahmed Kaita sought to repeal the existing terrorism (prohibition) law and make entirely new provisions for offences, and also sought to amend the extant law by strengthening it.

Section 19 of Monguno’s bill states, “A person who knowingly, directly or indirectly (a) aids and abets, (b) induces, instigates, instructs, (c) counsels or procures another person by means to commit an act of terrorism, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment.”

It adds, “Where the offence of terrorism is not committed, to an imprisonment for a term of 20 years.”

According to the bill, terrorism means any “deliberate” act of “malice”, which may cause harm/damage to a country, its government, economy, national assets, international organisations or result in loss of lives.

The use of biological or chemical weapons, kidnapping and other related offenses are classified as terrorism under the bill.

It also includes “interference with or disruption of the supply of water, power or any other fundamental natural resource, the effect of which is to endanger human life.”

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