Kaduna State Government takes Stringent Measures, Gangs to Bag 7 Years Jail Term

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Kaduna State Government takes Stringent Measures, Gangs to Bag 7 Years Jail Term

Zainab Tanimu

Kaduna, North-West, NIGERIA

The Kaduna state government in its fight to rid the society off the menace of urban gangs has taken stringent measure as it has formally declared gangs unlawful societies.

It said any member of gangs arrested would be prosecuted accordingly and if found guilty would be jailed for seven years without option of fine.

This was disclosed in a press briefing held at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna on Tuesday.

The Solicitor-General, Barrister Chris Umar briefing journalists said the decision to declare gangs ‘unlawful societies ‘was taken by the State government to promote public safety and uphold law and order in Kaduna.

While explaining that gangs known variously as Sara-suka, Yanshara and other names have acquired notoriety for involvement in criminal activities, including petty theft, armed robbery, rape and murder ,he noted that , ” Based on the powers granted to the Governor by Sections 45(1) and 5(2) of the Constitution, and other extant laws, the Unlawful Societies (Declaration) Order, 2018 declares “all groups under whatever name, appellation or mutation with the propensity of causing a breakdown of law and order or operates in a manner dangerous to the security and good governance of the state as unlawful societies.”

…Read full text of address by Chris Umar, Solicitor-General of Kaduna State, on the promulgation of the Unlawful Societies (Declaration) Order, 2018; Tuesday, 3rd July 2018.

Gentlemen of the Press,

In discharging its obligations to promote public safety and uphold law and order, the Kaduna State Government is taking several measures to curb the menace of urban gangs.

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The most recent is the decision by the Kaduna State Executive Council to approve the Unlawful Societies (Declaration) Order, 2018. Conviction for an offence under this order attracts a minimum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

This Order, which has been gazetted, became effective on 27th June 2018. It declares as unlawful societies urban gangs that have been unleashing mayhem on innocent persons. The violent, criminal actions of these gangs pose serious threats to peaceful and harmonious coexistence in our communities, and threaten the tranquility, security and development of the state.

Gangs known variously as Sara-suka, Yanshara and other names have acquired notoriety for involvement in criminal activities, including petty theft, armed robbery, rape and murder.

Based on the powers granted to the Governor by Sections 45(1) and 5(2) of the Constitution, and other extant laws, the Unlawful Societies (Declaration) Order, 2018 declares “all groups under whatever name, appellation or mutation with the propensity of causing a breakdown of law and order or operates in a manner dangerous to the security and good governance of the state as unlawful societies.”

“Upon commencement of the Order, any person who manages, or is a member of the said societies or groups commits an offense and shall be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of Kaduna State.”

The State Executive Council approved this decisive measure to secure the lives and property of the residents of the state as enshrined in the Constitution. It is a follow-up to the conventional law enforcement actions that have been taken to address the matter.

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There have been several and repeated arrests of gangsters, who are then quickly bailed pending prosecution, allowing them to continue their illegal activities and even menace those they suspect, might have reported them, sometimes creating a spiral of reprisals and needless violence in our communities. The new order closes a lacuna in extant laws.

The Unlawful Societies (Declaration) Order, 2018 enables law enforcement to be more proactive, and empowers them to arrest and prosecute gangsters even before they perpetrate violent acts.

Membership of a gang is sufficient ground for arrest and conviction under the new Order.

Parents and communities in our state are hereby urged to explain to their wards the consequences of partaking in or associating with gangs.