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Friday, February 18, 2011

Senate prescribes death for terrorists

The Senate yesterday passed into law an anti-terrorism bill which provides that those found guilty of terrorism be sentenced to death. With capital punishment becoming largely unpopular around the world, the punishment prescribed for the crime is likely to generate a lot of controversy, analysts say. President Goodluck Jonathan had on Wednesday sent a letter to the leadership of the National Assembly urging members to pass both the anti-terrorism and money laundering bills. It was the third time the president was writing the assembly over the bills. The version passed by the Senate will be harmonised with that being debated in the House of Representatives and will only become an act of the National Assembly after it has been signed by the president.

Members at the House of Reps are midway into the third reading of the bill and are likely to pass it next week. Considering the interest of the presidency in ensuring a quick passage, a clean copy of the law may be signed by Mr Jonathan before the expiration of the current term.

Currently, Charles Okah, Obi Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware, and Tiemkemfa Francis Osvwo are facing terrorism charges following the October 1 bomb blasts in Abuja.

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