Nigerians Barred from Paying Ransom to Kidnappers as Senate Passes New Bill, Awaits Buhari's Assent

Nigerians Barred from Paying Ransom to Kidnappers as Senate Passes New Bill, Awaits Buhari's Assent

  • The Nigerian Senate has passed the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 after considering the report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters
  • The bill seeks to make illegal the payment of ransom to kidnappers and terrorists in Nigeria in a desperate bid to rescue victims
  • Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, the chairman of the committee, explained that the goal of the bill is to discourage the rising spate of kidnapping and abduction for ransom in the country

FCT, Abuja - The Senate has passed a bill seeking to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013, which will prohibit the payment of ransom to kidnappers in Nigeria.

The passage of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, The Punch reported.

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Ransom Payment, Kidnappers, Senate Passes New Bill, Buhari's Assent, Terrorism Act
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, April 27, passed a bill prohibiting ransom payment to kidnappers. Photo credit: @Naija_PR
Source: Twitter gathers that the report was laid by the committee’s chairman, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), before consideration.

Bamidele, in his presentation, explained that the bill seeks to outlaw the payment of ransom to abductors, kidnappers, and terrorists for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned, or kidnapped.

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Bill seeking to discourage kidnapping - Bamidele

Speaking further, Senator Bamidele said “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 disclosed that in the memoranda presented to the committee, the plethora of issues relating to the subject matter of terrorism and terrorism financing in line with global best practices were raised.

The lawmaker also assured that the amendment to the Terrorism Act would set standards and regulatory system intended to prevent terrorist groups from laundering money through the banking system and other financial networks.

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Senator Bamidele reiterated that the proposed repeal and enactment Bill was geared toward improving the effectiveness of countermeasures against terrorism, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing.

His words:

"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 in international sanctions that would affect the image of the country in the comity of nations.”

Bill will complement FG's war against insecurity - Lawan

In his remarks, the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the bill would complement the federal government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity when signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, The Nation also stated.

He said:

“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.

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“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 the 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."

The Senate president expressed optimism that President Buhari will sign the bill into law as soon as possible. gathers that the bill was passed by the chamber after it scaled third reading on the floor.

Insecurity: Ndume makes huge allegation after terrorists' attack on Kaduna train

Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Borno South senatorial district, Ali Ndume, has accused the federal government of complacency in Nigeria's eroding security system.

Ndume while speaking on Channels Television's Politics Today on Wednesday, March 31, alleged that the Nigerian government has not done well in handling the security challenges across the country.

The senator said this while aligning with the comments made by the minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi, that lives could have been saved if, the government had taken action on his warning about an impending attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train.


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