The Senate on Wednesday, May 19 proposed a 15 Year jail sentence for anyone found guilty of paying ransom for the release of any person kidnapped, imprisoned or wrongfully confined in the country.
The bill titled Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which stipulates a 15-year jail sentence for anyone found guilty of such action is being sponsored by Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi and it scaled second reading during plenary.
Ezenwa 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”
The Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative work after scaling second reading.