Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has signed Anti-banditry and other related Offences Bill into law with death penalty for bandits.
The law titled ‘Prohibition and Punishment for Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Cultism, Kidnapping and Other Offences, 2022’ was passed by the Zamfara House of Assembly on Monday, June 27th, 2022.
The law which is to take immediate effect, stipulates death penalty for bandits convicted and other offences related to the crime.
Mr. Matawalle disclosed that the signing of the bill is an effort to address the issue of worsening insecurity in the state.
According to him, the new law will serve as a legal instrument for prosecuting banditry-related crimes. The law provides that any person found guilty of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, cultism or being an informant to bandits is liable to death penalty.
Agency report quoted the governor saying, “Today, we have signed the bill on Prohibition and Punishment for Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Cultism, Kidnapping and Other Incidental Offences, 2022.
“You may recall that yesterday (Monday) I inaugurated four security-related committees as part of our counter-banditry initiatives.
“Formation of the committees is aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the security measures being taken to end the over-decade-old banditry and other security-related challenges,” he stated.
The governor said he had earlier signed Executive Orders 7, 8,9, and 10, that provided the legal instruments and operational guidelines for the committees.
According to him, the most fundamental focus of governance anywhere in the world is security. Matawalle vowed that his government would go to any length within the law to secure the state and restore peace in the communities.
“Zamfara State, under my watch, will continue to explore all possible remedies to our plight. Those making insinuations about our decision to support the right of community members to self-defence against ruthless attacks by bandits ought to take into consideration the scale of the problem we are facing.
“They should take into account the plight of the innocent people who are maimed, killed, and kidnapped every day in various parts of the state,” the governor stated.
The governor said the State Community Protection Guards were not different from the Civilian Joint Taskforce (JTF) in Borno and Amotekun in the South-West region.
“Our move is particularly significant considering the fact that there is currently no part of the country that is not facing one form of insecurity or the other.
“Our conventional security forces are operating in various theatres ranging from south-east to south-west, north-east to north-central, heroically battling with varying degrees of security challenges.
“They are not only overstretched but also lack enough modern equipment to prosecute counter-banditry and insurgency warfare effectively,” he added.
He said that similar move by the Zamfara Government aimed to complement the efforts of the security forces, “with the ultimate goal of totally defeating the miscreants”.
The law provides that any one found guilty of aiding or abetting the crime would be liable to life imprisonment for 20 years, or 10 years imprisonment without an option of fine.