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Senate to make paying ransom a crime in Nigeria.

Senate to make paying ransom a crime in Nigeria.

The Senate on Wednesday 27/4/22 passed a bill to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013. This comes as the Senate source for ways to prohibit the payment of ransom to kidnappers in Nigeria. According to the senate, the bill will help tackle the terrorism  in the country. Senate set to make paying ransom a crime.

The Senate on Wednesday 27/4/22 passed a bill to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013. This comes as the Senate source for ways to prohibit the payment of ransom to kidnappers in Nigeria. According to the senate, the bill will help tackle the terrorism  in the country.

Senate set to make paying ransom a crime.

Senate amends Terrorism Act, prohibits payments of ransom to kidnappers – Vanguard News (vanguardngr.com)

In a presentation by the Committee Chairman, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, he stated. “The bill seeks to outlaw the payment of ransom to abductor, kidnappers and terrorist for release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped. He further stated, “The overall import of this bill is to discourage the rising spate of kidnapping and abduction for ransom In Nigeria, which is fast spreading across the country.” He added.

However, the Senate through its spokesperson, disclosed that in the memoranda presented to the Committee, the major issue of terrorism and terrorism financing in line with global best practices were explored and the amendment to the Terrorism Act would be instituted as it would help prevent terrorist groups from laundering money through banking system and other financial networks.

He further noted. “Having policies in place to combat financing of terrorism will surely reduce or eliminate privacy and anonymity in financial and other sundry transactions as it relates to the subject in our society.”

Meanwhile Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has highlighted the need for the proposed bill to be signed into law. He noted that the proposed bill would help improve the effectiveness of countermeasures against terrorism, terrorism financing and proliferation financing, he further opined that the bill will provide adequate framework for improved international collaboration, inter-agency cooperation and freezing of terrorist funds/assets.

He insisted, “The passage of this Bill will save Nigeria from being included among countries in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Grey List with its attendant negative consequences, which might ultimately result to international sanctions that would affect the image of the country in the comity of nations.”

Shortly after the bill was passed, Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan stated that the bill would help the federal government tackle insecurity in the country once the bill is signed into law. “It is our belief here in the Senate, that this bill, by the time signed into an Act by Mr. President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, and other associated and related vices.

This is one piece of legislation that can turn around not only the security situation in Nigeria, but even the economic fortunes of our country.

We have done so much as a government, in terms of infrastructural development across all parts of this country, but because security situation is not the kind of situation that we all want, this tends to overshadow all the tremendous and massive developments in our country.

I believe that the Executive will waste no time in signing this bill into law, and it is our hope that this additional piece of legislation will achieve the purpose for which it has been worked upon by the Senate, and, indeed, the National Assembly and, for the reason for which it would also be signed by Mr. President.

Let me make it very clear here, that the fight against insecurity, whether it is kidnapping, terrorism or whatsoever, is not the sole role of a government.

The contribution and support by citizens are essential, because our security agencies need vital and critical information against terrorism and other things that make life difficult for us.” He added.

Olaoluwa Alabi
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