The Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed a law prescribing the death penalty for anyone found guilty of engaging in cultism.

The Assembly, also on Tuesday, revised upward punishments for those aiding and abetting the practice.

The law entitled: Secret Cult (Abolition and Prohibition) [Amendment] Bill, 2017 was introduced by the House Leader of Business, Hon Akinyele Olatunji, who had called the notice of the House to the killing of students by cultist at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) in recent time.

According to Olatunji, Ekiti State was known for peace, saying “we will not allow any group to turn it into death trap area.”

Olatunji expressed appreciation to Governor Ayodele Fayose for introducing the bill, pointing out that “the peace-loving governor of Ekiti State has taken urgent steps to forward the bill to the House.”

Speaker of the House, Kola Oluwawole, said “we cannot fold our arms while some people would constitute themselves to the menace of 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 youths. 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.”

Others who also spoke, including the deputy speaker, Olusegun Adewumi; Mrs Titilayo Akerele; Sina Animashaun; Dayo Akinleye; Cecilia Dada and Dr Samuel Omotoso, agreed that it took a lot of efforts to raise a child from the cradle only to watch that child killed in the name of cultism.

They added that the bill was right as well as the House’s decision for its express passage.

Afolabi Akanni from Efon, particularly, called the attention of members of the House to the activities of fraudsters he referred to as “Yahoo and 419 guys” who he said wanted to turn Ekiti State to their hiding place.

He charged security agencies to be awake to their duties over this menace.

The original bill, said to have been promulgated during the first term of Governor Fayose, was amended from the previous seven-year imprisonment for a convicted cultist to death penalty, while the punishment for people who aid or abet the crime, rose from five-year imprisonment to life imprisonment.

In another development, the report of the House Finance and Appropriation Committee on the State 2017 Revised Appropriation Bill formed the basis of the passing of the bill into law.

The revised estimate stood as N93,091,856, 034.41 as against the 94,456,399,143.40 approved in the original budget of the year.

According to the lawmakers, the importance of the bill was to re-allocate funds to projects that were of paramount importance to government and to accommodate other important projects that were hitherto not in the approved budget.

They said this was “to re-strategies methods toward achieving a better result in the area of revenue generation; to address any other issue of importance observed during the course of implementing the budget under review.”

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