Death penalty for kidnappers: Delta House overrides Uduaghan

By Austin Ogwuda

Asaba—THE Delta State House of Assembly, yesterday, overrode the veto wielded by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on a bill prescribing death penalty for kidnapping. The Delta State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Terrorism Bill, 2012, which had earlier been unanimously passed by the House was vetoed by the governor who refused to give his assent to the bill.

Yesterday, 26 of the 29 members of the House voted to override the governor’s veto which effectively makes the bill now a law.

At yesterday’s plenary, the Speaker, Mr. Victor Ochei, read out a very lengthy letter sent to the House by the governor, explaining why he had refused assent to the bill, noting that, “it is my view that death sentence punishment is not likely to serve as deterrent or antidote.”

Dissatisfied with the explanation, members, citing Section 100 sub-section 5 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, which empowered the House to override the governor by a two-third majority, resolved to take action.

In the voting that followed, 26 of the members voted to override the governor. Following the overwhelming vote, the Speaker, Mr. Ochei, directed the Clerk of the House to enroll the law in the state High Court, as it had become law with effect from yesterday.

The anti-kidnapping bill had generated strong emotions in the state following the stand-off between the House and the governor.

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