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‘Penalty should be heavy’ – Wike seeks stringent laws to check crimes in FCT

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, has called for stringent laws to check crimes in the territory.

Wike, who made the call while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Monday, complained that the penalty in the current law was not enough to discourage criminality.

He said that currently, criminals were vandalizing solar powered street lights in the FCT, lamenting that the penalty when caught is N30,000.

He pointed out that if a vandal is arrested and the court asks him to pay only N30,000 as punishment, the culprit would pay and go back to commit the same offence.

“What I am saying is that legislation should be put in place where it will no longer be easy for criminals to operate.

“If you are caught and the penalty is heavy, it gives you an option not to either participate in crime or pay a heavy penalty when caught.

“If for example you are caught and the penalty is N10 million, how many people can afford to pay N10 million for just one solar panel? So, that will be a deterrent.

“This is why the legislators need to amend the laws and not to give a loophole where criminals will capitalise on and continue to perpetuate crime,” he said.

The minister urged Sen. Ireti Kingibe, representing the FCT in the Senate, to consider initiating a review of existing laws that were put in place to fight crime in the FCT to make the punishments stiffer.

According to him, such a move will complement the efforts of the security agencies by ensuring that whoever is caught committing any form of crime pays dearly for their actions.

He assured FCT residents that the government was not sleeping but working day and night with security agencies to address the security challenge.

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