The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, passed the bill recommending life imprisonment without an option of fine for unlawful explosives manufacturers in the country.
Section 11 of the bill seeking to repeal the Explosives Act 1964 and enact the Explosives Act 2023 passed for third reading in the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill states that, “Any person who unlawfully manufactures any explosives, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment without an option of fine.”
The passage followed the consideration and adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, chaired by Senator Tanko Al-Makura.
Senator Adelere Oriolowo (APC, Osun), who presented the report on behalf of the committee chairman, said the problem associated with the use, shipment, manufacture, sale, and possession of explosives was huge, adding that criminals were getting more innovative in the use of explosives to perpetrate crimes.
He said suicide bombers had killed dozens of Nigerians using explosives, hence, the need to put offenders in their place so that illegality associated with explosives would be reduced to the barest minimum.
He said, “The Explosives Act of 1964 was prepared to meet the situation as at that time. The penalties and fines in the Act were too mild compared to the gravity of the offences being committed by explosive users nowadays.
“In line with this, the passing of the bill to checkmate the abuse and menace posed by its use by criminal groups, insurgents and non-state actors is justified.
“The manufacture, storage, and use of explosives are not to be an all-comers affairs and should be closely regulated.
The penalties provided in the bill will serve as deterrent to offenders.”
The bill is expected to be transmitted to the House of Representatives for concurrence before taken to the President for possible assent.