Saturday, September 18, 2021

Nigerian Senate proposes 15 years imprisonment for anyone who pays ransom to kidnappers

Paying ransom to get kidnapped victims freed is about to be enacted into law as illegal

The Nigerian senate has proposed a bill that would result in 15 years imprisonment for anyone who dares to pay ransom to kidnappers.

Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi endorsed the bill titled  “Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2021“, which did pass the second reading on Wednesday, May 19.

If enacted into law, anyone indicted of paying a ransom for an abducted individual will face a 15 years sentence in prison.

Senator Onyewuchi in his comprehensive statement said

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.

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”

He also noted that countries like the USA and UK don’t support the payment of ransoms to kidnappers.

He continued by saying

Payments of terrorist ransoms are illegal under the UK Terrorism Act 2000 while the USA adheres to a strict No-Concessions policy on the payment of ransom.

The continuous payment of ransom must not be encouraged, in addition, the 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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