Nigeria outlaws payment of ransom to kidnappers

Nigerian Senate on Wednesday passed a bill seeking to outlaw the payment of ransom to kidnappers while amending an existing law against terrorism in the most populous African country.

The newly passed Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 Amendment Bill 2022 was expected to be assented to by Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, as soon as possible, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said after it scaled the senate’s third reading at a plenary session. 

Lawan said the amended bill would complement the Nigerian government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity when signed into law by President Buhari.

For many months now, Nigeria has been beset by a series of insecurity cases, including kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, and piracy, to mention a few.

The Senate leader said the newly passed bill would go a long way to discourage the rising spate of kidnapping and abduction for ransom in Nigeria, which was fast spreading across the country. 

“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. 

The amendment to the Terrorism Act would set standards and regulatory systems intended to prevent terrorist groups from laundering money through the banking system and other financial networks, said Opeyemi Bamidele, the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters. 

Bamidele noted during the plenary meeting that the amendment to the Act was done in line with global best practices pertaining to issues of terrorism and terrorism financing. 

“Having policies in place to combat the 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,” he added. -Xinhua 

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