The Nigerian Senate yesterday unanimously prescribed death penalty for any person engaged in acts of terrorism in the country.
Also, persons or corporate bodies who knowingly in or outside Nigeria directly or indirectly willingly assists, facilitates, organises or directs the activities of persons or organisations engaged in "act of terrorism" is liable on conviction to maximum of life imprisonment.
The penalties were contained in a report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to amend the Terrorism (prevention) Act, 2011 and for other related matter, considered and adopted by the Senate at Wednesday's plenary.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the Terrorism (prevention) Act 2011 (amendment) Bill, 2012 was passed by the Senate on October 17, 2012 and in the House of Representatives on October 11, 2012.
However, some differences were noticed in the two versions of the Bill, as passed by the two chambers. Consequently, a Conference Committee was constituted comprising both chambers on October, 2012 to reconcile the areas of differences, which appeared in essentially six clauses of the Bill.
New amendments to Section 17 of the Terrorism Act, gave a clear distinction between "an act of terrorism" and "an act of conspiracy". For the latter, an imprisonment for a term of not less than 20 years is prescribed.
A new provision (section 1A) dealing with national co-ordinating bodies in counter terrorism designates specific institutions and vest specific powers and functions.