Senate passes bill prohibiting payment of ransom to kidnappers

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A bill seeking to prohibit the payment of ransom has passed third reading at the senate.

The bill was passed by the upper legislative chamber on Wednesday after Opeyemi Bamidele, chairman of the committee on judiciary, presented a report.

The bill is an amendment of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013.

The senator said the legislation would discourage the rising spate of abductions witnessed across the country.

“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,” the senator representing Ekiti central said.

“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.”

Bamidele said the need for a review of the bill arose from the unfavourable ratings of the financial act task force (FATF) recommendations of Nigeria’s mutual evaluation report.

“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,” he said.

On his part, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the bill, if passed, would improve the country’s security situation.

“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,” Lawan said.