Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously expressed support for the bill which seeks to outlaw all forms of extra-judicial killing and mob action across Nigeria.
The bill is coming on the backdrop of recent rising cases of mob action against suspected criminals across the country.
Recall that four young men were burnt to death during the Alu killing through mob action, while six young Nigerians were also murdered by some policemen in the case of Apo 6 killing scandal.
According to section 6(1 & 2) of the Senate bill which was transmitted to the House for concurrence, “any person who is a primary agitator in the lynching or unlawful killing by mob action or riotous assemblage or extra-judicial killing, either as a party or parties to the lawful acts, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to death.
Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader who led the debate on the Senate bill which passed through third reading on Thursday, 28th September, 2017 emphasized the need to criminalise all forms of unlawful killings without subjecting the suspects to justice.
According to sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the bill provide that: “it shall be a criminal offence for any a security officer or any other paramilitary organization to deprive any person of his life or engage in the extra-judicial killings of any person within the Federal Republic of Nigeria without lawful authority.
“A state or Local Government shall be responsible for the protection of lives of every person within its jurisdiction and shall exercise such powers so as to prevent loss of lives of persons through lynching or unlawful killings by mob action, riotous assemblage or by extra-judicial killings.
“Any State or Local Government thereof that fails, or refuses to provide and maintain protection to the life of any person within its jurisdiction against a mob or riotous assemblage, such State or Local Government shall by reason of such failure, neglect, or refusal, be said to have denied to such person the equal protection of the laws of the State as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Any person or persons who is or are identified as the primary agitator for lynching or unlawful killings by mob action, riotous assemblage or by extra-judicial killings, which results in the death of a person is said to have committees an offence,” the bill read.
Section 6(2) further stipulates 15 years imprisonment for the party/parties involved in any mob action that does not result in the death of a person.
Section 6(3) also provides that: “any security officer acting under the authority of the law, having in his custody or control, a suspect, who conspires with any person to out such suspect to death without authority of the law, as a punishment for some alleged offence, shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction be sentenced to death.”
Similarly, any security officer who aided and abetted the release of such suspect from the custody for the purpose of being killed or out to death for alleged offence shall on conviction to sentenced to death.
Meanwhile, the bill proposed between N2 million and N10 million compensation as criminal liability payable by State or Local Government or security organization in which a person is killed unlawfully.
Following the support of the bill, Speaker Yakubu Dogara who presided over the plenary session, referred the bill to the House Committee on Justice for further legislative action.