The Lagos State House of Assembly has recommended a fine of N250,000 or six months imprisonment for any individual who obstructs members of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) from carrying out their duties.
This followed the adoption of the report of its Committee on Information, Security and Strategy as presented by its Chairman, Mrs Adefunmilayo Tejuosho by the House during plenary on Monday.
Tejuosho presented the report on “A Bill for a Law to Amend the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency for the Regulation and Control of Neighbourhood Safety Corps Activities and for Connected Purposes.”
According to her, it was observed at the public hearing held on Dec. 14, 2018 that certain sections of the Principal Law needed to be amended in addition to those contained in the Amendment Bill.
She said that in order to allow for proper efficiency and strengthening of the agency, there was a need to create more sections to make the amendment more encompassing.
Tejuosho said that the amendment created a new Section 25 in the Principal Law with the side-note “Obstruction of Authorised Officer. A person, who wilfully and unlawfully obstructs, restrains, prevents, harasses or injures a safety corps member or any authorised officer in the discharge of his duties under this law commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of six months imprisonment or to fine of N250,000 only or both fine and imprisonment.
“A duly authorised safety corps member shall have power to enter, inspect and conduct search upon warrant issued by a Magistrate as may be incidental to be operation of this law,” he said.
The amendment stated that some functions of the LNSC include establishment of the uniform safety corps in all local government areas of the state.
The agency is also expected to take over all existing responsibilities of the neighbourhood watch and absorb all eligible neighbourhood watch members into the safety corps.
In his submission, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the House, Obasa said that the fines for anyone who obstructs LNSC officials was mild and that it would not deter criminals.