Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, has assented to the bill passed by the state House of Assembly, prescribing death sentence for the offence of kidnapping in the state.
The Bill, tagged Bayelsa State Kidnapping and Allied Offences Bill 2013, empowers the governor to accent to the death warrant of any person or group of persons convicted for the act of kidnapping and other related offences in the state.
During the signing of the Bill into law in Yenagoa, Dickson warned those involved in acts of kidnapping to stay clear of the state because he would not hesitate to sign their death warrant. He said: “If you are involved in any act of kidnapping, let me warn you today, don’t come near Bayelsa. We have put measures in place. I have, commissioned 15 fast moving patrol boats for use by our security forces to ensure maritime security and safety.
“If you try that, whether it is sea-piracy or kidnapping, we are going to get you. We will make it difficult for you to succeed and whoever you are and wherever you are operating from, we are going to get you… I am aware that the security agencies have made several arrests and most of the young men and women, who are involved in the recent kidnappings that took place are currently in custody.
“Any of them found guilty of the offence will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Today, with this bill having been signed into law, we have entered a new phase in terms of the provision of the legal framework that will support our fight against kidnapping and related offences… It is morally indefensible for young people, for whatever reason, to go under the cover of darkness, armed with illegal weapons, to terrorise villages and old people in their homes and then forcefully abduct and rough handle old people and take them as an article of trade.”