Nigerian Senate is supposed to be one of the highest organ in the country and part of their duties is putting laws together to protects lives and properties.
At today’s sitting, was a proposed Bill that seeks to prohibit any payment and collection of kidnap’s ransom by kidnappers to release any kidnapped person, wrong detention and or imprisonment.
Any one caught for giving or taking may end up in jail upto 15 years.
Highliting from the country’s Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that scales its reading during day’s plenary.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi from the Southern part of the country seeking to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013 to outlaw the payment of ransom to kidnappers. abductors, and terrorists substituting it for section 14 of the Principal Act a new section as below.
“Anyone who transfers funds, makes payment or colludes with an abductor, kidnapper or terrorist to receive any ransom for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped is guilty of a felony and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years.”
He is of the opinion that kidnapping is a fast and lucrative business, when he added that, “it has now remained the most virulent form of banditry in Nigeria and the most pervasive and intractable violent crime in the country.”
“Kidnapping is on the increase in Nigeria and it is prevalent across all the geopolitical zones.
“Some blame the rise of this criminal activity on poverty, religion, politics, deficiency of existing laws, unemployment, connivance of security agents, corruption, and greed among others.
“Our unemployed youths are also turning out to kidnapping to get money (ransom) as a survival strategy.
“Whatever the reason, it is most obvious that kidnapping in Nigeria puts everyone at risk, the rich and the poor, old and young, male and female, foreigner or indigene, expatriate or non-expatriate, traditional rulers and religious leaders, among others.”
“The reason behind payments of ransom is rooted on the fact that people easily identify with individual suffering.
“However, History has shown that even where ransom is proven to have been paid, the life or safe return of a kidnap victim may not be guaranteed.”
He summarised that “the continuous payment of ransom must not be encouraged, in addition government should provide adequate security and strengthen the economy as a matter of urgency, accelerate its poverty alleviation programs, provide employment opportunities targeting youths who are mostly involved in abductions and kidnappings, strengthen our law enforcement agencies, and provide the necessary support to end the menace of kidnapping. ”
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