Members of the outlawed terrorist organisations Boko Haram and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who are classed as terrorists face the death penalty or life imprisonment.
This is stated in the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, which President Muhammadu Buhari just signed into law.
However, the law has created a defence for members of prohibited groups, allowing them to avoid either the minimum or maximum penalty.
The legislation states: “A person who is a member of or claims to be a member of a terrorist organisation or a proscribed entity in or outside Nigeria commits an offence and is subject to imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years and a maximum of life.”
“It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) of this section that the entity in question was not a terrorist group or a proscribed entity at the time that person became a member or began to profess membership in that group or entity; and that the person has not participated in the activities of that group or entity after it became a terrorist group or proscribed entity.
“A person who conspires with another to commit an offence under this Part in Nigeria, or to commit an act of terrorism in any place outside Nigeria, which if committed in Nigeria would have constituted an offence, is deemed to have conspired to do that act in Nigeria, and is subject to the same punishment as provided under this Bill for the offence to which the conspiracy relates, upon conviction.
“A person commits an offence if they knowingly, directly or indirectly, help and abet, induce, instigate, advise, counsel, or procure another person to commit an act of terrorism by any means whatever.
“A person who commits an offence under subsection (2) of this section is liable on conviction, where the offence is committed, to the same punishment provided under this act for the offence to which the offence relates; and where the offence is not committed, to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than that provided under this act for the full offence.”
It also states that anyone who, while in lawful custody for an act of terrorism, escapes custody; or aids, facilitates, or abets the escape of a person who is in lawful custody of the relevant agency for an act of terrorism, or suspected to have committed an offence under any of the provisions of this Bill, commits an offence and is subject to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty years upon conviction.
It further stipulates that anyone convicted of attempting to commit an offence on a false pretence is subject to the same punishment as for the attempted offence.
Further, it states: “Where a person is charged with an attempt to commit an offence under this Part, but the evidence establishes the commission of the full offence, the person shall not be acquitted, but shall be convicted for the commission of the offence, and is liable upon conviction to the same punishment provided under this Part for the offence to which the attempt relates.”
In addition, financing the travel of individuals who travel to a state other than their state of residence or nationality for the purpose of committing, planning, preparing, or participating in terrorist acts, or providing or receiving terrorist training, is considered an offence punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years and up to a maximum of life.
Similarly, knowingly or intentionally dealing in terrorist funds or property by “acquiring or possessing terrorist funds or property; entering into, or facilitating, directly or indirectly, any transaction in respect of a terrorist funds or property;.converting, concealing, or disguising terrorist funds or property; or providing financial or other services, in respect of terrorist funds or property, at the direction of a terrorist or terrorist group, constitutes a crime.
Taking hostages, kidnapping, hijacking, threatening to kill, and detaining anybody with the intent to coerce a third party into committing an illegal conduct are also crimes under the law.
It added: “A person who knowingly or intentionally (a) seizes, detains, or attempts to seize or detain a person, property, or facility in order to compel a third party to do or abstain from doing a lawful act; (b) threatens to kill, injure, or continue to detain a person in order to compel a third party to do or abstain from doing a lawful act; or (c
“A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) of this section is subject to life in prison if death does not occur from the act, and to the death penalty if death does result from the conduct.”