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Senate Advances Bill Aimed at Ending Imprisonment for Dud Cheque Issuers

November 22, 2023

Photo Credit: @SPNigeria

A bill seeking to stop a two-year jail term as part of the punishment for issuing dud cheques has passed second reading at the Senate.

The bill titled, “Act to Repeal and Reenact the Dishonored Cheques (offences) Act of 1977′” was sponsored by Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West).

Mr Karimi, while leading a debate on the bill, said the punishment of a two-year jail term without an option of fine against a person who issued a dishonoured cheque as contained in the existing Act is stringent.

The senator then proposed a fine of N5 million against big business corporations and N1 million against small business entities found culpable of issuing dud cheques.

He also proposed that the limitation of presenting a cheque should be increased to six months.

“Limitation of presenting a cheque is also increased. In the old Act, there was a three month limitation period. I am proposing that it should be increased to six months” the senator said.

Mr Karimi explained that the bill will empower state High Courts and Magistrates to handle trials of dishonoured cheques cases.

In Nigeria, only the Federal High Court has jurisdiction to entertain cases on dishonoured cheques.

If the bill passes third reading and is enacted, state High Courts and Magistrates will also have jurisdiction to entertain cases on dishonoured cheques.

Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno North) who contributed to the debate said, justice on issues surrounding dishonoured cheques would be administered when state High Courts and Magistrates have the jurisdiction to handle such cases.

“This bill seeks to confer more jurisdiction to state High Courts and Magistrate Courts making justice closer to the people.

“The extant law also provides an option of fine and increase the fine because of the inflation,” Mr Monguno said.

The bill was read the second time after majority of the senators voted in support when the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio put it to vote.

Mr Akpabio then referred it to the Senate Committee on Banking for further legislative action.

 

 

Credit: Premium Times

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