By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu State Government is to amend its criminal code to provide for the seizure of any property used as a hideout by kidnappers, the Commissioner for Information, Dr Godwin Udeuhele, has said.
Briefing newsmen on Saturday in Enugu on the outcome of the state executive council meeting held late Friday, Udeuhele said the move was to deter kidnappers.
He said the council had empowered the Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice to forward an amendment bill of the state’s criminal law to the state legislature.
“Approval was given to the amendment of Section 315 of the Criminal Code Law, 2004 of Enugu State that was amended in 2009.
“The latest amendment provides for additional punishment of demolishing buildings used in the imprisonment of kidnap victims in order to deter kidnappers and their accomplices from this nefarious act.
“If kidnap victims are traced to a building and you are found guilty upon determination of the case, such building will be demolished and government takes over the piece of land. No compensation,” he said.
The commissioner said that the move would make developers to be more conscious of their uncompleted projects, which unknown to them, could easily be turned to den of kidnappers.
“If you built your house and left it porous for kidnappers or connive with them to use such buildings to hide their victims and you are found guilty, government pulls it down and takes over,” he said.
Udeuhele said that approval was also given for the upgrade of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu to a multi-campus and degree awarding institution to meet the socio-political and economic needs of the state.
He said that a draft bill to that effect would immediately be forwarded to the state assembly to be passed into law.
“If IMT becomes a multi-campus system, other branch campuses will be opened in different locations of the state.
“Instead of concentrating everybody in the metropolis, thereby, increasing house rent, you send them to different locations. Maybe each zone will have one or two faculties,” he said.
He said that the move was praise-worthy as the state government already had two polytechnics.
The commissioner said that the State Polytechnic in Iwollo, which currently awarded only OND and HND in agriculture related areas, had applied for the accreditation of more conventional courses.
“Council also approved the award of contracts for the rehabilitation of additional 20.9km of roads in the state.
He said the roads were Opi-Obollo-Affor and 9th Mile Corner internal roads, to be built at the cost of N1.36 billion.
Udeuhele said that N122.22 million was approved for the supply of 10 new 200 KVA sound-proof diesel generators for street lights.
He said that the council also approved Oct. 15 as the date for the launch of the 25 road projects, buildings and water projects to be embarked on in the 17 local government areas.