The Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed a bill prescribing death penalty for anyone found guilty of engaging in cultism.
The bill, which seeks to prohibit the activities of secret cults, was also revised upward on Tuesday with punishment for those aiding and abetting the practice.
The substance of the bill, which is yet to be signed into law by the governor, saw the punishment for people who aid or abet the crime also rose from five-year imprisonment to life imprisonment.
The new provision was an amendment to the law against cultism, enacted by Ayo Fayose during his first tenure as governor of the state.
The law had provided a seven-year imprisonment for anyone convicted of cult activities, whereas those aiding and abetting the act were to be imprisoned for five years.
The bill titled, ‘Secret Cult (Abolition and Prohibition) [Amendment] Bill, 2017,’ gained the lawmakers attention following increase in cult activities at the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti which led to the killing of students recently.
It was introduced by the House Leader of Business, Akinyele Olatunji, who called the notice of the assembly to the incessant killings of students by cultists at the higher institutions in the state, especially at the Ekiti State University in recent time.
He said Ekiti State was known for peace and “we will not allow any group to turn it to a slaughter slab.”
He said: “We will not allow any group to turn Ekiti into death trap area.”
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Kola Oluwawole, said:
“We cannot fold our arms while some people would constitute themselves as a menace and eliminating the lives of innocent people of this state.”
“It is an everlasting sorrow for someone to lose his child or relative. The bill will reshape the lives of our youth. It will ‘touch’ those who intend to join any secret cults and those who have the intention to take another person’s life.
“Those people that we are representing will have peace of mind that their lives and those of their children are safe. The bill considers very seriously the negative consequences of such action because of the irreparable loss of lives.”