The senate on Tuesday July 14, passed a bill prescribing life imprisonment for persons found guilty of kidnapping. The upper legislative chamber also deleted the statute of limitation on defilement and also removed gender restrictions on offences of rape. The bill tagged “the Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020” sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central) had passed its second reading in the Senate on Tuesday, 26 November 2019.
Chairman, Senate Committees on Judiciary, Human and Legal Matters, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele, had noted that the aim of criminal law and criminal justice system is not only for punishment but also for deterrence, retribution, restoration and rehabilitation of offenders.According to the senate, subsection (1) of the bill is amended to include a “Minor”, and the term “imbecile” and “idiot” in subsection (2) connotes a derogative remark and therefore is substituted with the word “mentally challenged”.
Section 357 which deals with sexual assaults on females is amended to indicate incidences of non-consensual sex perpetrated against a boy or man, whereas, Section 364 of the Principal Act is amended to proffer life sentences for persons found guilty of kidnapping.