Richard Ginika Izuora
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday, August 11, said it would consider including punishment for parents of cultists found guilty of cultism in the amendment of Anti-Cultism Law submitted by the state government.
The House made the submission during plenary in Lagos; after the Bill had scaled through the second reading through voice votes.
The new title of the Bill submitted by the Lagos State government is: “Unlawful Societies and Cultism (Prohibition) Bill, 2020”.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, said the punishment was to further prohibit unlawful societies, cultism in the state; and for other connected purposes.
“Parents of cultists found guilty of cultism in the state might be liable for punishment if the Bill for a law to provide for the prohibition of unlawful societies and cultism in Lagos and for connected purposes is passed.
“Though, we will also differentiate between the types of cultism in the country; so that we won’t solve one problem and create another.
“We need to look at the way and manner weapons are used. The existing law should be seriously looked into,” Obasa said.
Contributing, Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu I), said that sponsors of cultism could not be captured under the Bill.
Agunbiade said that some of the cult groups had their sponsors.
He said there must be a proof before suspending any student found guilty of cultism; adding that suspending a student without proven guilty was already a punishment.
“There must be proof before a suspension. The suspected student should be investigated before a suspension.
“While parents of students who engage in any cult group should also be liable,” he submitted.
In his remarks, Mr Desmond Elliot representing Surulere I, said the Bill was not robust enough to cater for the larger society in the state.
Obasa, therefore, committed the Bill to the House Committee on Judiciary; and was directed to report back to the House in three weeks.