The Senate is advocating life jail for anyone caught in human trafficking and others acts of slave trade.
This move followed the report on a bill, Traffic in Persons (Prohibition) Act (Amendment) 2013, which was submitted to the Senate by the Senate Committee on Judiciary yesterday.
Although the committee had recommended a reduction of the life jail terms contained in the principal Act to seven years, senators who spoke on the bill yesterday insisted on life jail term for offenders.
Those who spoke during consideration of the report yesterday, insisted that life jail for offenders was non-negotiable.
However, legislation on the bill was not completed yesterday as voting was reserved till March 18 when plenary resumes.
While presenting report on the bill, the committee chairman, Senator Umaru Dahiru said: â€œIn practice, these provisions are among the offences that are difficult to prove because of the penalty prescribed for them.
â€œConsequently, prosecuting officers have been unable to obtain conviction. It is in respect of this that the committee reduced the punishment in the principal Act (section 24) from life to seven years in addition to a fine. â€œThis amendment is necessary because punishment of life imprisonment is too stringent.â€
The law empowers the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to, among others,â€investigate whether any person, body or entity has committed an offence under this Act or the offence of trafficking under any other law;
â€œEnter into any premises, property or conveyance for the purpose of conducting searches in furtherance of its functions under this Act or under any other law;
â€œArrest, detain and prosecute offenders under this Act or any other law on trafficking in persons in Nigeria;
â€œTrace, seize, detain or retain the custody, for the purpose of investigation and prosecution, of any property which the agency reasonably believes to have been involved in or used in the commission of offences under this Act or any other law;
â€œSeal up premises upon reasonable suspicion of such premises being involved with or used in connection with offences under this Act; and
â€œSeek and receive information from any person, authority, corporation or company without let or hinderance in respect of the enforcement of any of the provisions of this Act.â€