The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill that recommends life imprisonment without an option of fine for unlawful explosives manufacturers in the country. The bill, seeking to repeal the Explosives Act 1964 and enact the Explosives Act 2023, was passed for a third reading in the Senate on Wednesday. According to the bill, anyone who unlawfully manufactures explosives will be liable to life imprisonment without an option of fine.
Senator Adelere Oriolowo, who presented the report on behalf of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development, and Metallurgy, said that the problem associated with the use, shipment, manufacture, sale, and possession of explosives was huge, adding that criminals were becoming more innovative in using explosives to perpetrate crimes. The penalties and fines in the Explosives Act of 1964 were too mild compared to the gravity of the offences being committed by explosive users nowadays.
The bill will serve as a deterrent to offenders and will be transmitted to the House of Representatives for concurrence before being taken to the President for possible assent. Additionally, the Senate has set machinery in motion for the establishment of a tribunal for the strict implementation of the audit report as adopted by both chambers of the National Assembly. The need for the audit report tribunal came to the fore in the Senate when a bill sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, was considered and passed for a second reading.