New Zamfara Law Prescribes Death Sentence for Bandits

Governor Matawalle reveals why he directed residents of Zamfara state to pick up arms

New Zamfara Law Prescribes Death Sentence for Bandits

New Zamfara Law Prescribes Death Sentence for Bandits: The Zamfara state government has passed a new bill prescribing the death penalty for criminals in the state.

Affected criminals include cattle rustlers, kidnappers, bandits, and even their informants. The Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle signed this law, as part of his administration’s latest efforts to end insecurity in the state.

Matawalle also banned all political activities, including gatherings and rallies, in the state pending the official commencement of electioneering, as contained in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2023 election timetable.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa (rtd) as pioneer Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) for a five-year tenure.

In another development, the General Secretary of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Yunusa Nmadu, condemned a recent admission by the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, that terrorists were running a parallel government in his state. Nmadu said the governor’s comment was an “admittance of failure coming a little too late”.

But the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya said the Nigerian Army was combat ready to deal with terrorists in the country.

Matawalle, in a live broadcast from Gusau, the state capital, said the death penalty for the criminals was contained in the 2022 Prohibition and Punishment for Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Cultism, Kidnapping and Other Incidental Offences Law, he personally signed on June 28, 2022.

Under the new law, the governor said anyone found guilty of supporting or aiding banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other related offences in the state would face life imprisonment, 10 or 20 years in jail without an option of fine.

The governor stated in the state broadcast, “It becomes necessary for me to address you once more on the issue of security in our dear state. You may recall that following increased banditry attacks in some parts of the state from the month of June 2022, we found it imperative to institute new security measures to combat the situation effectively.

“Accordingly, I inaugurated four security-related committees to implement the latest security measures. Similarly, on the 28th of June, I assented to the bill on Prohibition and Punishment for Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Cultism, Kidnapping and Other Incidental Offences, 2022. The law provides a legal instrument for prosecuting banditry-related offenders.

“Based on the new law, anyone found guilty of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, cultism, or serving as a bandits’ informant is subject to the death penalty. Similarly, anyone found guilty of supporting in any manner the aforementioned offences faces a sentence of life in prison, 20 years in jail, or 10 years in prison, without the option of a fine.”

He explained that despite efforts by his government to enforce the new security measures in order to tackle insecurity in the state, some unscrupulous elements were bent on thwarting the efforts on the pretext of conducting political activities.

Matawalle said the state government was now determined to take necessary steps to stop those he termed unscrupulous elements from achieving their “nefarious objectives”.

He stated, “Accordingly, all political activities, including gatherings, and rallies, are hereby banned. Political activities should only commence, when campaigns start officially as outlined on the INEC timetable. Security forces are hereby instructed to deal with anyone found violating the order.”

He also banned motorcycles from 8pm to 6am in Mareri, Damba, Tsunami, Tsauni, Barakallahu, Samaru, Gada Biyu, and Janyau East following the recent incursion of bandits in some areas on the outskirts of Gusau, the state capital.

Meanwhile, according to a release issued yesterday by the media adviser to the president, Femi Adesina, Musa’s appointment, which was with immediate effect, would run for an initial term of five years.

Prior to his appointment, Musa was Director of the Counter Terrorism Directorate in the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) since 2017.

He was responsible for the review of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST), and the creation of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE), which Buhari signed into law in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Additionally, the retired naval officer served as the Nigerian representative at the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) since the last three years.

The NCTC was established in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as the coordinating body for the harmonisation of all counterterrorism and terrorism financing efforts in the country.

The NCTC was equally charged with the coordination of counterterrorism policies, strategies, plans and support in the performance of the functions of the National Security Adviser (NSA), as provided in the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022.