Oyo State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill which prescribes penalties, and fines for anyone or group of persons who destroys, mutilate, damage or set fire to public property in the State.
The Nigerian Tribune reports that the law lists public property to include any installation, streetlight, traffic light, vehicle, or public maintained amenities, whether movable or immovable, owned or in the control of the state.
As prescribed in the new law, a person who while acting alone or in concert with other persons, sets fire to a public property commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of five years or a fine equivalent to the value of the property or both.
The “Destruction of Public Property (Prohibition) Bill, 2022” passed into law at Tuesday’s plenary, stipulates that person who destroys, mutilates or damages any public property commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine equivalent to the value of such property.
Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Transportation, Honourable Olatunde Kehinde, had presented the joint committee report prior passage of the bill into law, at the day’s plenary.
The law also prescribes that “A person who, while acting alone or in concert with other people, conducts himself in a manner likely to cause destruction, mutilation or damage to any public property commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000 and to an additional fine of N1,000 for every day in which the fine remains unpaid.”
It further states: “A person who, while acting alone or in concert with other persons performs or does any act capable of exposing any public property to theft or burglary commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N2million and to an additional fine of N1,000 for every day in which the fine remains unpaid.”
The High Court, under the law, has the jurisdiction to prosecute offenders.
Under the law, authorities over public properties are shared among the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Water Corporation of Oyo State, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.