Illegal Explosive Manufacturers Risk Life Imprisonment

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Yesterday, the Senate voted to approve a bill that will regulate the production, use, importation, sales, and possession of explosives throughout the country.

Following the consideration and adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, which was chaired by Senator Tanko Al-Makura, the passage was introduced.

In Section 11 of the bill that was passed for third reading on Wednesday by the Senate in an effort to repeal the explosives Act of 1964 and enact the explosives Act of 2023, the Senate made a recommendation that any person who unlawfully manufactures any explosives in the country should be sentenced to life in prison without the option of a fine.

It says that “any person who unlawfully manufactures any explosives, commits an offence and is liable to conviction to life imprisonment without an option of fine.” This means that a person who is convicted of this offense faces life in prison without the possibility of ever getting out.

The report was presented by Senator Adelere Oriolowo (APC, Osun), who stated on behalf of the committee chairman that the problem associated with the use, shipment, manufacture, sale, and possession of explosives is a significant one.

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The lawmaker claimed that criminals were becoming more creative in their utilization of explosives in order to commit crimes.
According to him, suicide bombers had used explosives to kill dozens of people in Nigeria.

According to him, there was a necessity to rehabilitate criminals so that the illegal activity associated with explosives could be reduced to the barest minimum.
He explained that the purpose of passing the Explosives Act of 1964 was to address the circumstances that existed at the time. When compared to the severity of the offenses that are being committed by explosive users in the modern era, the act’s penalties and fines were far too lenient.

“In light of this, the passage of the bill to counteract the misuse and threat posed by the use of it by criminal organizations, insurgents, and other non-state actors is justifiable.

“The manufacturing, storing, and use of explosives are not to be open to anyone and should be closely regulated. This is not the time for experimentation.” The severity of the punishments outlined in the bill will act as a deterrent to lawbreakers.

Prior to the bill receiving the assent of the President, it is anticipated that it will be sent for concurrence to the House of Representatives.

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