By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Lagos House of Assembly, on Monday, passed a Bill banning the activities of cultists and illegal societies across the state into law.
The new law stipulates a 21-year jail term for anyone found guilty of engaging in the act and 15 years jail term for anyone convicted of abetting cultists or who allows his premises to be used by cultists as a meeting point.
After its passage, the Speaker of the House, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit the Law Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.
The Bill entitled “A Law to provide for the prohibition of unlawful societies and cultism in Lagos State and for other connected purposes,’ says a society shall be regarded as unlawful if its members are engaged in illegal, destructive activities contrary to public policy, safety and peace of members of the public.
In Section 3, it read: “Any person who is a member of an unlawful society or cult, identifies as a member or solicits for members of an unlawful society or cult, attends a meeting of an unlawful society or cult whether as a member or an intending member of the unlawful society or cult commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 21 years imprisonment.
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“The jail term also concerns anyone who attends such meetings or does any illegal act which may probably cause a breach of peace, disturb public peace or conducts activities in such a manner as to pose a threat to life and property.
“Anyone who forms, organises or combines and agrees with anyone to form or organise an unlawful society or cult, manages and assists in the management of an unlawful society or cult or knowingly allows a meeting of members of an unlawful society or cult to be held in any property under his control commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 15 years imprisonment.
“The 15-year jail term further applies to anyone who intimidates or compels people to join a cult group.
“Any person who injures or uses violence on a person to compel the person to join an unlawful society or cult commits an offence and liable on conviction to a term of 21 years imprisonment.
“Any person who administers or is present at and consents to the administering of any unlawful oath that appears to bind the person who takes it to become a member of an unlawful society or cult under this law, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to seven years.
“It also stipulates 21 years for any member of a cult group who sets fire on anything or uses firearm or deadly objects, including acid and other chemicals, in any manner as to cause harm to anyone.”
For students in the state, the law, which prohibits campus cultism, says “anyone of them who is convicted would face a jail term not exceeding two years.”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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