Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday 16th March, signed the bill for the Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism of 2021 into law, which stipulates a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists in the state. Earlier in February, the state’s house of assembly, had passed the anti-cultism bill, which also sets out a 15-year jail term for anyone found guilty of assisting cultists, and residents who deliberately allow their property to serve as rendezvous points for these cultists.
Sanwo-Olu assented to the bill at the swearing-in event for newly appointed members of the state’s Public Procurement Agency Governing Board and two permanent secretaries held at Banquet Hall in the statehouse, Alausa, on Monday. Three other bills were also signed at the event.
They are 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 replaces 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 holistic and applicable to the general public, as against the restriction of the previous law to students of tertiary institutions.
Sanwo-Olu said the state had suffered the negative effects of unlawful societies and cultism, stressing that the new law will make parents more responsible and more interested in how their children are raised, as well as ensure that they do not become burdens to the society.