The nation’s battle against terrorism got legislative boost yesterday as the Senate passed the amended version of the Anti-terrorism Bill forwarded by the Executive. The bill endorsed a life sentence for terrorists.
Presenting the report of the Joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, the Chairman, Senator Mohammed Magoro, said the committee endorsed that the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) “will be the co-ordinating body for counter-terrorism measures in the country; this is to ensure timely and well-co-ordinated response by all law enforcement and security agencies which are to continue to perform their statutory roles with respect to counter-terrorism and other violent acts in the country.”
The bill also touches on offences against Internationally-Protected Persons. According to the version that was passed yesterday, “the offences covered such as financing of terrorism and acts preparatory to or in furtherance of an act of terrorism; being an accessory to any offence under this Act; contributing to the commission of any act of terrorism have now been expressly provided for.”
The punishment for the offences have been made more stringent as some attract life imprisonment, others attract up to 10 years imprisonment depending on the magnitude.
The committee noted that the absence of a national co-ordinator had affected collaboration among security agencies fighting terrorism.
The amendments were passed by the chamber.