Gusau — Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has signed the anti-banditry and other related offences bill into law, proscribing death penalty for a convicted bandit and other related criminals in the state.
The law which comes into force with immediate effect was signed into law on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
Speaking after signing the bill, Matawalle said the law formed part of measures to tackle banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in Zamfara.
The law: Prohibition and Punishment for Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Cultism, Kidnapping and Other Incidental Offences, 2022 was passed by the state legislature on Monday.
According to him, “Today, we have signed the bill on Prohibition and Punishment for Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Cultism, Kidnapping and Other Incidental Offences, 2022.
“You may recall that on Monday I inaugurated four security-related committees, as part of our counter-banditry initiatives. Formation of the committees is aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the security measures being taken to end the over-decade-old banditry and other security-related challenges.”
The governor recalled that he had earlier signed Executive Orders 7, 8, 9 and 10 that provided the legal instruments and operational guidelines for the committees, stressing that “the most fundamental focus of governance anywhere in the world is security. Zamfara State, under my watch, will continue to explore all possible remedies to our plight.
“Those making insinuations about our decision to support the right of community members to self-defence against ruthless attacks by bandits ought to take into consideration the scale of the problem we are facing. They should take into account the plight of the innocent people who are maimed, killed, and kidnapped every day in various parts of the state.”
The governor said the state Community Protection Guards were not different from the Civilian Joint Taskforce, JTF in Borno and Amotekun in the southwest sub-region, saying
“Our move is particularly significant considering the fact that there is currently no part of the country that is not facing one form of insecurity or the other.
“Our conventional security forces are operating in various theatres ranging from southeast to southwest, northeast to north-central, heroically battling with varying degrees of security challenges. They are not only overstretched but also lack enough modern equipment to prosecute counter-banditry and insurgency warfare effectively.”