Nigeria: Lagos to Enact Law Criminalising Keeping Dangerous Animals As Pets

11 December 2019

The Lagos State Government (LASG) is to enact a law criminalising the keeping of dangerous animals as pets by individuals in the state.

This follows the capture and tranquilizing of a two-year-old lion kept in a residential property in Ikoyi, Lagos on Nov. 18.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) the Lagos State Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice made the disclosure at a media parley held at the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday.

Onigbanjo said that a Dangerous Animals Bill which will penalise offenders and protect members of the public from dangerous animals, was being drafted.

He said it would soon be submitted to the Lagos State House of Assembly to be passed into law.

"The bill is to take care of scenarios like what happened at Ikoyi where an individual kept a lion in his home.

"It will also cover situations where individuals keep dangerous pets and dogs which cause harm to members of the public," he said.

The AG said that in order to ensure effective dispensation of justice in Lagos, laws such as the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) would be amended.

He said new laws such as the Victims Rights Law and Administration of Civil Justice Law were being enacted to cover various lapses in the justice sector.

"We are to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL). Since it has come into being, it has revolutionised criminal proceedings in our state.

"The Federal Government and other states have taken off from where we started and other states are applying the same law.

"Having operated this law for quite a while, we have seen one or two things that we can improve on. An amendment is in the pipeline.

"By the first quarter of next year, we shall be sending a draft amendment Bill on the ACJL to the State House of Assembly."

The AG said the Victims Rights Law was to protect victims and witnesses of crimes from intimidation, harm and harassment while the Administration of Civil Justice Law would improve civil proceedings in the courtrooms in the state.

"We have in the pipeline our first Victims Rights Law. We have noticed that in Nigeria, victims of crimes are not protected, the law does not give them any cover.

"The law will spell out the rights that victims of crimes are entitled to and the protection that the State will give them so that the near future in Lagos State, intimidation of witnesses will become a crime.

"The Administration of Civil Justice Law which will come in place for the first time will help to bring our civil proceedings and civil jurisprudence up to international best practices," he said.

Onigbanjo said that other new laws were being created by the LASG and the list would soon be made public by the Ministry of Justice.

The AG said he had mandated that every letter or petition written to the Ministry of Justice must be responded to.

He said this was a way of effectively communicating with the public and ensuring speedy dispensation of justice.

Vanguard Nigeria News

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