The Senate has passed a bill that prescribes life imprisonment without the option of a fine for unlawful explosives manufacturers in the country. The bill which was passed and if assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari seeks to regulate the manufacturing, use importation, sales and possession of explosives in the country.
Section 11 of the bill which seeks to repeal the Explosives Act 1964 and re-enact the Explosives Act, proposes life imprisonment for illegal manufacturers of explosives was read the third time and passed yesterday, just as it recommends life imprisonment without the option of fine, as punishment for any person who unlawfully manufactures any explosives in the country.
The passage was sequel to the presentation, consideration and adoption of report by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, chaired by Senator Tanko Al-Makura, APC, Nasarawa South. Senator Adelere Oriolowo, APC, Osun who presented the report on behalf of the committee chairman, said that the problem associated with the use, shipment, manufacture, sale and possession of explosives is huge.
The passed bill states that, “any person who unlawfully manufactures any explosives, commit an offence and is liable to conviction to life imprisonment without an option of fine”. Oriolowo who noted that criminals were getting more innovative in the use of explosives to perpetrate crimes, said that suicide bombers had killed dozens of Nigerians using explosives. According to him, there was the need to put offenders in their place so that illegality associated with explosives would be reduced to the bearest minimum.
He said, “The Explosives Act of 1964 was prepared to meet the situation as at that time. The penalties and fines in the act were too mild compared to the gravity of the offenses being committed by explosive users nowadays. “In line with this, the passing of the bill to checkmate the abuse and menace posed by its use by criminal groups, insurgents and non-state actors is justified. “The manufacture, storage and use of explosives are not to be an all comers affairs and should be closely regulated. The penalties provided in the bill will serve as deterrence to offenders.”