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Dickson okays death penalty for kidnapping

By Igoniko Oduma Correspondent, Yenagoa

Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, on Wednesday signed into law the Kidnapping and Allied Offences Bill passed by the state House of Assembly.

Assenting to the bill at Government House, Yenagoa, Dickson said he would not hesitate to sign the death warrant of any person or group of persons caught in the act of kidnapping and other related offences.

He said his administration had procured 15 patrol boats at the cost of N339 million for use by security forces to secure the waterways.

“I like to say this, 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 just a short while ago commissioned 15 fast moving patrol boats for use by our security forces to ensure maritime security and safety”, he stated.

Dickson continued: “If you try that, whether it is in 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 forces have made several arrests and most of the young men and women, who were involved in the recent kidnappings that took place, are presently under 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 infrastructure 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, 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. That is morally indefensible.

“It cannot be justified under any circumstance at all. As a government, we are by this law sending out a strong message of condemnation and that we are prepared and determined to work with our able security agencies as a team together to flush out such criminals from within Bayelsa or wherever they are operating from.

“As I said earlier, and most people know that when I say something, I do it. I will not hesitate to sign a certificate (warrant) of execution.

“Anybody who doesn’t listen and commits any of the offences prohibited by this law, and who is tried and convicted, will face the penalty”.

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