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Nigeria: Lawmakers discuss on anti-Terrorism bill

Last Tuesday, Senators and stakeholders in the security industry converged in Senate Hearing Room 1 to jaw-jaw on a just punishment for whoever is found guilty of engaging in terrorist acts in Nigeria.

Some of the stakeholders gathered at the one-day public hearing organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Tourism canvassed a longer jail term while others recommended the death penalty.

This new recommendation is, however, contrary to the five years imprisonment recommended in the Anti-Terrorism Act which seeks to provide measures to combat terrorism which is presently being considered by the National Assembly.

Sponsor of the Bill, Vice Chairman of the Information and Media Committee, Anthony Manzo noted that there are over 101 definitions of terrorism but that the National Intelligence and Security Committee resolved to adopt the UN definition considering the sensitivity of Nigeria.

“We want to be on the same page with all the countries of the world. The bill has no religious connotation. Now that we are heading the UN Security Council for a month, Nigeria must use the month to boost its image.”

He added that the Bill seeks to empower all the security agencies to carry out search on any premises in case of urgency, without search warrant as provided for in Section 23(1).