Kidnapping: NBA condemns Senate’s criminalisation of ransom payment

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Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) , through its Chairman, Monday Ubani, on Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) has condemned the passage of a bill seeking to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013, and prohibit the payment of ransom to kidnappers in Nigeria by the Senate.

The passage of the bill recently, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

NBA-SPIDEL, chairman, Ubani, knocked the senate, while speaking at a press conference to intimate the general public on the forthcoming annual conference of the group that will hold in Sokoto from May 22 to May 26, saying that law ought to reflect reality in any given society.

The theme of the conference :“Rule of Law and Democratic Evolution in Nigeria” while the keynote address on “Rule of Law and Nigeria’s Democratic Experiences: The Way Forward” will be delivered by renowned jurist and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Akin Oyebode.

The lawyer also maintained that victims of kidnapping pay ransoms out of desperation and abject helplessness, knowing full well that the state has failed and is unable to protect lives and property or secure the release of their loved ones from the kidnapper’s den.

Ubani said, “It is very appalling therefore that the same country that has failed to provide security to the people it governs is embarking on a ‘suicide mission’ of criminalizing ransom payment by the very victims that are helpless and desperate to save the lives of their loved ones.

“This piece of legislation under contemplation lacks logic and wisdom and the House of Representatives is hereby advised to jettison the Bill without any further consideration.

“It does not make any sense at all. Instead, the Legislature is strongly advised to focus on laws that will strengthen national security and protection of lives and property, assuming there is a lacuna”.

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