The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has signed the bill for the Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism of 2021 into law, approving a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists in the state.
The state House of Assembly, in February, passed the anti-cultism bill, which also stipulates a 15-year jail term for anyone found guilty of abetting cultists and residents who willfully allow their properties to be used as meeting points by cultists.
Sanwo-Olu, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, assented to the bill at the swearing-in for newly appointed members of the state’s public procurement agency governing board and two permanent secretaries on Monday.
The Governor also signed the Lagos State Audit Service Commission (Amendment) Law of 2019, Lagos State Public Procurement Bill of 2021 and Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Law of 2021.
“The anti-cultism law repeals the Cultism (Prohibition) Law of 2007 (now Cap. C18, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015) and provides for more stringent punitive measures, as well as makes its application all-encompassing and applicable to the general public, as against the restriction of the previous law to students of tertiary institutions.
“The state had suffered the negative effects of unlawful societies and cultism; the new law will make parents more responsible and show more interest in the upbringing of their children and wards to ensure that they do not become a burden to society,” the statement partly reads.
Speaking on the appointment of the procurement agency’s Governing Board members, the governor said their selection was predicated on their track record of integrity, experience and professional competence.