Oyo State is on the verge of enacting its own anti-open grazing law as part of measures to check the activities of violent herdsmen and their cattle on people’s farms and also prevent clashes with farmers in the state.
Saturday Punch quoted the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, as saying that the bill would come up for first reading in the house next Tuesday.
Ogundoyin, while reacting to the rising cases of insecurity and kidnappings in the South West said consultations were ongoing for the creation of enabling laws that would cater for all the six states in the South West region.
Saturday Punch also reports that on the heels of the rising insecurity in which Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, was killed recently, governors and most of the State Assemblies in the region have resolved to enact laws that will impose death sentence or life sentence on kidnappers caught in the region.
Officials of the state governments who spoke on the issue in separate interviews with the newspaper, confirmed the development.
Lagos and Ogun states have already passed bills imposing death penalty on kidnappers.
The Deputy Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr. Iroju Ogundeji, decried the spate of kidnappings and other forms of insecurity in the state, confirming that “we already have a bill stipulating capital punishment for kidnappers and the bill would soon be passed into law.
“The bill entails that anybody found guilty of the kidnapping offence will be sentenced to death.”
Similarly, the Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye stated that the assembly would prescribe life imprisonment for kidnapping.
He said he has introduced the bill to the assembly, saying it would discourage kidnapping because of the stiff penalty recommended.
“The bill which I introduced in June to curb the menace of kidnapping has passed first reading. The bill titled “State of Osun Kidnapping (Prohibition Bill) 2019, recommends life imprisonment for perpetrators of the dastardly act.
“The bill has passed first reading but the House has decided to conduct public hearings so as to get the input of critical stakeholders as well as kidnap victims.
“On the issue of whether there would be death penalty for killer herdsmen or kidnappers, we are going to take a common position on that with other state assemblies in the zone,” the speaker said.
Although, Ekiti State House of Assembly has also called for a review of existing laws on kidnapping and banditry with the imposition of more stringent penalties for the offences, Funminiyi Afuye, the Speaker of the House said the assembly would not support death sentence for kidnappers, stressing that “for now, very stiff penalty is okay.”
He added that a law would be passed “after a meeting of all stakeholders in the South West.”