The Nigerian senate has today, Wednesday, proposed a bill that forbids private individuals from paying ransom to kidnappers to secure the release of their loved ones.
In essence, the bill states that Nigerians who pay ransom to kidnappers and kidnappers who receive ransom risk 15 years imprisonment. The bill tagged The Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2021, is intended to curb the spike in cases of kidnapping all over the nation which many fairminded analysts agree is mainly because of how lucrative kidnapping has become in recent years.
Making a case for the bill on the floor of the senate, the senator representing Imo East Senatorial Disctict, Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi, who sponsored the bill, said the bill basically seeks to substitute for section 14 of the Principal Act a new section that will read, “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 continues to be a major security challenge in the country with family members paying millions and sometimes still failing to obtain the release of their loved ones. All over the world, governments frown at private individuals negotiating with and paying ransom to kidnappers without the involvement of the police. It is left to be seen how this bill will impact on this nagging security challenge.
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