Niger Speaker seeks stiffer penalty for kidnappers, castle rustlers

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Minna  –   The Speaker of Niger House of Assembly, Mr Ahmed Marafa, has advocated for a stiff penalty for offences of kidnapping and cattle rustling in the state.

The speaker made the call on Tuesday at a public hearing on a for a law to penalise kidnapping and theft of cattle.

Marafa said that kidnapping and cattle rustling were taking a toll on the state, hence the need for laws to tackle the menace.

“These two crimes are taking a toll not on only Niger state but‎ the country as a whole.

“Cases of kidnap and cattle rustling used to be alien to us in this state; but now they have become the order of the day, which is unfortunate,’’ he said.

He decried lack of provisions in the Penal Code to sufficiently deal the twin evils.

“Often times when people are arrested for those crimes, there are no sufficient laws to prosecute them.

“The Penal Code only touched on of minors and does not even provide any clear cut penalty and that is probably why those crimes are on the rise.

“We need to address that lacuna and that is why we have invited all the relevant stakeholders on finding a lasting solution,” Marafa said.

He called for appropriate punishment for those who issue threats of kidnap and engage in aiding and abetting kidnapping and cattle rustling.

The speaker said that the proposed law was a demonstration of the state government’ commitment to improving security. (NAN)