Anambra State Passes Anti-Cultism Bill to Combat Violence

Anambra State passes anti-cultism bill, imposing life imprisonment for cult members and empowering authorities to curb the growing menace of cult-related violence in the region.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Anambra State Passes Anti-Cultism Bill to Combat Violence

Anambra State Passes Anti-Cultism Bill to Combat Violence

The Anambra State House of Assembly has passed an anti-cultism bill into law on April 25, 2024, in a bid to address the growing problem of cult-related violence and activities in the state. The new law aims to save the lives of residents and empower authorities to take decisive action against perpetrators of cultism.

The bill, which underwent thorough consideration in the Committee of the House, stipulates that any person who is a member of a secret cult has committed an offence, whether or not in possession of an offensive weapon, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life or a minimum of 21 years without an option of fine. The law also empowers the police or any security agent to arrest a person who is in possession of an offensive weapon being kept in any house or building.

Majority Leader Ikenna Ofodeme stated, "The law will help save the lives of Anambra residents and empower authorities to take decisive actions against perpetrators." Speaker Somtochukwu Udeze acknowledged the recent outcry regarding cultism-related activities in the state and stressed the importance of the law in addressing the issue.

Why this matters: The passage of the anti-cultism bill in Anambra State is a significant step towards combating the growing menace of cult-related violence and activities in the region. The law provides a legal framework for authorities to prosecute offenders and serves as a deterrent to those considering joining secret cults.

The bill, entitled Anambra State Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Bill 2024, states that any person who participates in a meeting or activity of a secret cult shall be presumed to be a member of the secret cult. Additionally, any person who has in their possession, custody, or under their control any of the insignia, documents, or other properties belonging to a secret cult, or wears such insignia, shall be presumed to be a member of the secret cult.

The law provides an opportunity for members of secret cults to voluntarily renounce their membership and submit any offensive weapons in their possession to the police, granting them freedom from prosecution. Ofodeme emphasized that the bill would go a long way in assisting the government to curb crime and criminality in the state.

Key Takeaways

  • Anambra passes anti-cultism law, life imprisonment for members
  • Law empowers police to arrest those with offensive weapons
  • Aims to curb cult-related violence, save lives of residents
  • Allows voluntary renunciation of cult membership, avoid prosecution
  • Law to take effect on May 7, 2024, after governor's assent