"I Was Threatened with Arrest for Paying Ransom to Kidnappers to Release My Brother": Lawyer Reacts

"I Was Threatened with Arrest for Paying Ransom to Kidnappers to Release My Brother": Lawyer Reacts

  • A Nigerian man whose brother was kidnapped was threatened with arrest by the police for paying ransom to the kidnappers
  • The man who spoke anonymously said he had to resort to paying the ransom after the abductors kept his brother for 10 days without food
  • Constitutional lawyer Evans Ufeli speaks on whether or not one can get arrested for ransom to kidnappers

Legit.ng journalist Ridwan Adeola Yusuf has over 9 years of experience covering public journalism.

FCT, Abuja - A young man whose brother was recently kidnapped shared his experience.

"My brother was kidnapped in December 2023. We reported the matter to the police, but the officers could not help rescue him.
"I had no choice but to resort to the desperate measure of paying the required ransom (against the directives of the police) because the abductors had kept my brother for 10 days without providing him any food.

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"Sad, I found myself in a more distressing situation when the police threatened me with arrest for paying the ransom to the kidnappers, saying it was against the law.
"Is it true that it's illegal to pay ransom to kidnappers?"
kidnapping in Nigeria/kidnap for ransom in Nigeria/kidnapping epidemic in Nigeria
Helpless Nigerians continue to negotiate despite warnings from Nigerian authorities not to give in to pressure from kidnappers. Photo credit: Nigeria Police Force
Source: Facebook

Paying ransom to kidnappers: Legal expert intervenes

Evans Ufeli is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Principal Partner, The Chambers of Evans Ufeli, a Policy and Development Attorney with a special interest in Litigation, Tax Consulting, Human Rights, Secured Credit Transactions, Energy Resources Law, Maritime and Company Law.

Evans is a Public Affairs Analyst with considerable experience in International Business Law, Constitutional Law, Public International Law, Corporate Law and Jurisprudence.

Although Nigeria outlawed ransom payments in 2022, it is purely a moral issue. Thus no one can get arrested for paying ransom to secure freedom for their loved ones and ensure that they are safe.

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There is no law against the paying of ransom. It is purely a moral issue. The National Assembly has a bill intended to criminalise the payment of ransom. They argued that it is because people pay ransom, that is why kidnapping is encouraged. However, I think the payment of ransom should be the last resort.

Also, the government should provide security for the country if they do not want the citizens to resort to self-help by paying ransom.

The 1999 constitution of Nigeria (as amended) provides in section 14 (2) ..." the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government…."

The responsibility to provide for the citizens as aforementioned has not been discharged by the government, therefore same lacks the moral rectitude to restrain the citizens from paying a ransom.

Ex-DSS official speaks on kidnap for ransom

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that a former director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mike Ejiofor, said he discouraged ransom payment until he became a victim of kidnapping.

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Ejiofor noted that the government will always discourage people from paying ransom, adding that citizens should secure themselves if the government fails to.

Read about kidnapping in Nigeria:

Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers' decisions. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their personal circumstances before making any decision.

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Source: Legit.ng

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