Kidnappers in Rivers State to face death penalty

Gov Nyesom Wike
Gov Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nysom Wike, has declared he would not look back to sign death warrant of any person convicted of kidnapping and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Wike stated this yesterday, when he assented to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law No. 8 of 2018, the Rivers State Secret Cult and Similar Activities (Prohibition) (Amendment) Law No.6 of 2018, and the Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) (Amendment) No. Law No.7 of 2018, in a bid to improve the security of communities.

He gave his assent to the three laws passed by the House of Assembly, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, saying the laws are necessary to enhance security across the state.

Commenting on the anti-kidnapping and anti-cultism laws, Wike said stiffer penalties have been approved to discourage those who might want to be involved in the offences.

He said: “If you are a cultist and you are caught, it is life imprisonment. If you are a cultist and you kill during cult activities, you will face the death penalty.

“If you are convicted of kidnapping and the Supreme Court affirms your conviction, I will sign the death warrant without looking back.”

The governor said the state government would battle cultism and kidnapping to a standstill, noting that ‘enough is enough’.

He said neighbourhood watch safety corps would support existing security agencies with intelligence and information for them to effectively fight crime and make the state safer.

Wike said the neighbourhood corps cannot work without the approval of security agencies that would profile all the operatives.

He said anybody, who loves the state would not do anything to undermine steps that would enhance the security of lives.

He said: “If your hands are clean, you have nothing to fear about the three laws that I have given assent to. By tomorrow, I will appoint the person that will head the Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps.

“All criminals will face the full weight of the law. We will fight crime and ensure the state is safe for investors.”

He debunked claims by opposition that the state government plans to use the Neighbourhood Watch to arm youths.

The governor said the corps is a replica of what is in existence in Lagos State.

Senator representing Rivers West Senatorial District, Osinakachukwu Ideozo, said the laws would strengthen security operations in the state.

Ideozu described, as unfortunate, the failed attempt by Senator Magnus Abe to mislead the Senate on the Neighbourhood Watch.

He said it was within the purview of the state House of Assembly to pass the Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps Law for the security of the state.

Ideozu commended Wike for being proactive in the promotion of security in Rivers by giving assent to the three laws.

Presenting the bills, Majority Leader, Martins Amaewhule, said the laws provided for stiffer penalties in the interest of the state.

He said the Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps Bill was passed in line with extant laws and the constitution.

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