Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Saturday, October 18, 2014


We, the comrades of Unit 1012, send our thanks and our utmost respect to Adams Oshiomhole, the Governor of Edo State, Nigeria, who signed into law a bill prescribing the death penalty for convicted kidnappers in the state on October 18, 2013. On July 4 that year, he courageously spoke out in defense of the death penalty at the second annual seminar on the “Role of Public Complaints Commission in a democratic Nigeria’ organized by the Public Complaint Commission, in Abuja on July 4, 2013.
            We believe that Chief Justice Rayner Goddard would be proud of this Governor if he was alive today. Like Goddard, Oshiomhole showed his love and care for the victims and their grieving families. God bless you! You deserve the Rayner Goddard Acts of Courage Award.

Adams Oshiomhole

Oshiomhole signs new law imposing death penalty for kidnappers in Edo
Posted By Nnenna Ibeh On October 18, 2013 @ 18:29 In National,News

The law applies to all stages of kidnap

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday signed into law a bill prescribing the death penalty for convicted kidnappers in the state.

The law, which is an amendment of a previous one, also states that any premises where victims of kidnapping were held would be demolished.

Declaring that the penalty applies to all stages of kidnapping, Mr. Oshiomhole [1] said whether the victim dies in captivity, in the process of being kidnapped, or while being rescued, the penalty remains the same.

He called on Edo State youth to desist from all forms criminality as an excuse for unemployment and appealed to parents and guardians to be aware of the activities of their wards.

He assured residents of the state that no special tribunals would be set up to try cases of kidnapping in order to relieve concerns over the slow judicial process in Nigeria.

Kidnapping has been on the rise in Edo and many other states in Nigeria. One of the most recent was the kidnap of radical lawyer, Mike Ozekhome. [2]

Apart from Edo, Bayelsa State also has a law imposing death penalty for kidnappers.

Kidnappers To Face Death Penalty In Edo – Oshiomhole

By: Patrick Ochoga on October 19, 2013 - 4:34am

Disturbed by the spate of kidnappings in Edo State, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday signed the Kidnapping Prohibition Law as amended into law. It prescribed the death penalty for kidnappers.

At the signing of the law, the governor said the state government would do everything within its powers to ensure the safety of life and property in the state.

According to him, “I have just signed into law a bill amending the Kidnapping Provision Law 2009 as amended by the state House of Assembly which now prescribes death penalty for anyone who is involved in any form of kidnapping.

“We have had enough laws in our statute books that provide for various degrees of punishment for various offences. I think the real challenge is about law enforcement and dealing with the problem of impunity. Laws will be worthless if we do not have the capacity to apprehend, interrogate, persecute and interrogate criminals and invoke the full weight of the law.

“I am convinced that within the three arms of government of the legislative, the Judiciary and the Executive, we have a responsibility to make laws and enforce those laws in a way that would send clear signals to those involved in acts of criminality whether they are kidnappers, armed robbers, rapists that the security agencies now much more determined than ever before to ensure that this state becomes too hot for criminals to operate”, he said.

He assured the people that government is doing everything to make the state uncomfortable for criminals.

Nigeria: Oshiomhole, Kidnappers and the Death Penalty

By Ebomhiana Musa, 4 November 2013

Ebomhiana Musa writes that by signing the death penalty for kidnappers and robbers, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has shown leadership

At exactly 2.50 pm on Friday, October 18, in the year of the Lord 2013, a tough decision was taken in Edo State as the Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, signed into law a bill passed by the state House of Assembly which prescribes death penalty for kidnapping of any form. The law, otherwise known as the Edo State Kidnapping Prohibition Law 2009 (as amended), also prescribes for the demolition of any property (house/hotel) used by the kidnappers as their operational base to keep their victims.

A drastic ailment, they say, requires a drastic treatment. This was probably why Edo state government had to do something drastic by prescribing capital punishment for those found guilty of kidnapping. Kidnapping of persons in the state has become so embarrassing to the extent that it seems like a major alternative source of cheap money for the jobless criminally-minded ones. It also made it look as if there were no security agencies in the state. The kidnappers have become so daring to the extent that it was no longer safe to move on the streets in Benin metropolis let alone intercity movements.

The government had to rekindle confidence in the people of its ability to protect lives and property in the state and that it's not just in government, it's in power with the strong political will to check crimes and criminality so that the citizens can move around freely and go to bed with their eyes closed. The governor made it crystal clear that he would not hesitate to sign the execution warrant of any kidnapper tried and convicted by the court of law.

Hear him: "I want to assure the good people of Edo State that government is concerned about the state of kidnapping. We share the pains, the agony and trauma which victims of kidnap are all subjected to, but I assure our people that everything is being done to keep these criminals in check." Edo is the second of the 36 states of the federation to sign a law prescribing capital punishment for kidnapping, coming after Rivers State under Rotimi Amaechi. Delta State House of Assembly passed similar law, unfortunately, the bill is gathering dust on the table of the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, apparently lacking the political will to sign it into law. Yet, the people of Delta state groan daily under the terror of kidnappers.

Without mincing words, I believe Comrade Oshiomhole deserves applause for his uncommon courage and guts to dare these hoodlums by appending his signature to the law passed by the state House of Assembly. That is part of the hallmark of leadership, the ability and political will to take decision in the common good of the majority, no matter how unpalatable it may be to the minority in certain quarters.

Oshiomhole has bluntly refused to give a dime as ransom to kidnappers in the state. Severally, government functionaries and his political party officials had fallen into the hands of kidnappers in the state. He refused to yield to pressure to use government money as ransom for their freedom. I hear some state governments in the Niger Delta region set aside some money in the region of 20 million naira from their monthly security vote to appease these hoodlums called kidnappers.

But the Comrade Governor has rebuffed them and refused to be part of the dirty deal. He chose to give them stone for bread. What a rare courage! For this, I beg to vote him my Man of The Year 2013. It would be recalled that the coalition of civil societies in Nigeria, the Amnesty International and other holier than thou foreign bodies were raising dust earlier in the year when Oshiomhole set aside all sentiments and dared to sign the death warrant of some armed robbers who robbed, raped and killed their victims in the state. He also scored a first in that regard as one of the governor of the 36 in the federation to sign the death warrant of robbers tried and condemned by competent court of law.

He however gave reprieve to those who robbed with violence but did not kill their victims by commuting their sentences to life jail. Not just that, in furtherance exercising his powers of prerogative of mercy, he freed one of the condemned robbers and directed that he be given some money to set up business of his choice. This is to prove the point that Oshiomhole is not one who delights in shedding blood through the instrumentality of government.

This assertion is supported with what he was quoted to have said while signing into law, the anti-kidnapping bill. "Having signed into law the death penalty, let me assure the good people of Edo State that as reluctant as one wants to be in matter of life and death, I am convinced that the overriding public interest dictates that we invoke the maximum penalty available in our law on those involved in the act of kidnapping."

Recently, the Chief Justice of the Federation had cause to cry out that the nation's prisons were brimming with criminals; apparently, a good number of them are condemned criminals awaiting the hangman. Again, unfortunately though, it boils down to the fact that the state governors are shying away from their responsibility of signing the death warrants brought before them.

It is therefore not surprising that cases of jailbreak are now common occurrences across the states leaving in their trails deaths and maiming of hapless prisons' officials who dare to show some form of bravery. These hardened criminals will feed fat on government's lean resources, break loose, with all the energy in them and unleash mayhem on the society with vexation. In some cases, they go straight for the jugular of the IPO/prosecuting counsel and the trial judge(s).

It is therefore in this light that all well meaning and peace loving Nigerians should salute this rare courage displayed by Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. As the society is becoming more complex and the criminals are devising more sophisticated means of carrying out their criminality, Nigeria needs leaders with strong character, guts and uncommon courage in taking decisions, especially in the common good of the majority. This is food for thought as we approach the year 2015.

Musa is a public affairs commentator based in Auchi, Edo State

Bad days ahead for kidnappers: 100 face death penalty in Edo

on November 10, 2013   /   in Crime Guard 8:15 am   /   Comments

By Simon Ebegbulem, Benin-City

OVER one hundred suspected kidnappers face the death sentence in Edo State following the signing into law of the state kidnapping law by Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Kidnapping in the state became worrisome after hoodlums descended on the state to a level that even teachers were being kidnapped for ransom. Lagos lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, a Benin High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, a chieftain of the APC, Athanacious Ugbome, were among those who suffered from the kidnappers onslaught along the Auchi-Abuja road, in Edo State.

It was later learnt that most of the evil perpetrated along that road was executed by a gang led by a kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, who is currently facing trial in Abuja. Ordinarily, Oshiomhole believes very strongly in the sanctity of life but on 18 October, shortly after one of the bloody kidnap operations, the governor had no choice than to exercise his constitutional powers as governor, by signing into law the Kidnap Prohibition Law as amended by the state House of Assembly.

On that fateful day, Oshiomhole was in his office attending to state issues, when the news filtered in that those attending Esan Professionals Conference, scheduled for Uromi, were kidnapped while one was killed almost at the spot where Ozekhome was kidnapped.

Sunday Vanguard learnt that the suspected kidnappers, who reportedly wore police uniforms with bullet proof vests, stopped the victims and informed them that they were under arrest. They were said to have ordered Mrs Ekhomu and her children to a vehicle while the chief executive officer of Thomas White Plc. Mr. Emmanuel Obiyan, and Dr Ekhomu, a security expert, were pushed to another vehicle.

The kidnappers headed towards Sapele. Sunday Vanguard learnt however that on realizing that their captors were kidnappers and not policemen after he inquired about the police station they were being taken to, Dr Ekhomu held one of the kidnappers with a gun and there was a fight. In the process, Dr. Ekhomu suffered a gunshot on his hand but he managed to escape through the bush.

*Suspected kidnappers

Apparently angered by the Ekhomu resistance, the kidnappers rained bullets on Obiyan and abandoned his body. The gang that held Mrs. Ekhomu and her children ran into trouble when men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta intercepted them around Sapele and rescued them. The body of Obiyan was deposited at the Irrua Specialist Hospital. The sad incident occurred on Thursday, 17 October.

Oshiomhole, visibly angry, came to office at about 7:30am the following day, and called for the amended kidnap law file. While this was going on, appeal came to the state government to flood the Auchi-Abuja road with soldiers.  Oshiomhole was particularly touched that Esan sons and daughters, who came home from Europe, America and other parts of the world for a meeting, were either kidnapped or shot dead.

At about 11am, the governor signed the kidnap bill into law and urged all those concerned to ensure full implementation. The law prescribed death penalty for kidnappers.Speaking while signing the law, the governor said government would do everything within its powers to ensure the safety of lives and property in the state.

Oshiomhole disagreed with those who argue that kidnapping is a result of unemployment, saying “no one should try to trivialise very complex issues”. He said: “We need coordinated efforts to deal with the problem of crime in Nigeria”, lamenting that the governor does not have the  power to deal with any security officer who might have misbehaved or through whose negligence the people might have been exposed to any criminal act.

“At best, we are able to provide resources and equipment as we have tried to do within our limited resources in spite of the fact that the language, the letter and the spirit of the constitution is clear that security matters are federal issues which is why the federal government continues to have monopoly of the police and of all the armed forces and the state security services.

None of these comes under the control of the state government. I am convinced as a matter of fact that the Federal Government is doing its best to arm and equip the police and the other security agencies. There are no quick-fix solutions to the issue of crime. Criminals are not in limited number that you exterminate and go and sleep”, he said.

Sunday Vanguard learnt however that over one hundred suspected kidnappers have been arrested since the passage of the law.  Meanwhile, fifteen suspected armed robbers and fourteen child defilers were paraded on Thursday by the Edo Police Commissioner, Mr Foluso Adebanjo. He said the parade of the 29 suspected criminals amongst whom was a 24 year-old Ifeanyi Nwongi, who allegedly defiled a girl of one year and eight months, was part of the efforts by the command to wipe criminals out in the state.

Items recovered from the suspects include five vehicles, one AK47 rifle, three English pump action guns, three cut to size double barrel guns, five locally made pistols, 103 AK 47 rifle live ammunition, 505 live ammunition and other dangerous weapons.  Adebanjo explained that 15 suspected kidnappers were arrested in different parts of the state. He said: “Operatives of the command, on routine patrol/ stop and search, stopped one Nissan Vannette bus for a routine check, search conducted on the occupants of the bus led to the recovery of arms and ammunition and arrest of two suspects.

Investigations however revealed that the suspects are notorious kidnappers who have been terrorising the state and were on a kidnap mission before they were arrested”.He further narrated that a crack team of detectives who acted on “credible intelligence” arrested one Osarumwense Ogbeide and Osahon Uhunamure at Aduwawa for alleged involvement in various kidnapping cases which occurred in the state, adding: “The suspects who have been on the command’s wanted list are notorious criminals who took part in the kidnapping cases reported on the 29/05/2011, 01/02/2012 and 09/02/2012 in the state.

The arrested suspects who confessed to the crime led the operatives to Idun-Ehigie community where a 60-year-old man, Raphael Noruwa, was arrested and cone Jojeff Magnum pump action gun was recovered from him. As you can see kidnapping has reduced in Edo and it was as a result of the strategy we adopted which is working”.

Romancing baby

However, 24-year-old Nwonga, who allegedly defiled the 20 months old baby girl, told Sunday Vanguard: “I held the baby and was playing with her and had erection and sperm was now released on her body. That was what happened; it is not as if I defiled her”. However, Nwonga later confessed that he defiled the child, attributing it to the work of devil. The mother of the child, who took the matter to the police described the suspect as a liar. “He is my tenant but I never knew that people could be that wicked. He defiled this baby and that was why I came to the police”.

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/11/bad-days-ahead-kidnappers-100-face-death-penalty-edo/#sthash.MkgScPtj.dpuf

Oshiomhole Signs Death Penalty Law For Kidnapping

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