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General News of Thursday, 28 April 2022


Senate bans victims from paying ransoms to kidnappers

Senate  of the National Assembly Senate of the National Assembly

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.

Sequel to the consideration of a report by the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters committee, yesterday, it was deemed necessary to pass the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central revealed the report before the consideration. He said in his presentation that the bill seeks to outlaw the payment of ransom to abductors, kidnappers and terrorist for release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped.

He 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 also revealed that in the memoranda presented to the Committee, plethora of issues relating to the subject matter of terrorism and terrorism financing in line with global best practices were raised, however 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.

He stated that the need to comprehensively review the Terrorism Prevention Act arose from the unfavorable ratings of Financial Act Task Force (FATF) recommendations of Nigeria’s Mutual Evaluation Report and consequent placement of Nigeria in FATF’S International Cooperation and Review Group Process with its impending sanctions on Nigeria’s economy.

He added that the National Task Force on improving Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in Nigeria proposed improvement on the Act in order to address the deficiencies noted in its provisions so as to align with the required standard as obtainable in other jurisdictions.

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

Bamidele noted that the repeal is aimed at providing an adequate framework for improved international collaboration, inter-agency cooperation, and freezing of terrorist funds/assets.

The President of senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the bill was passed, said the bill would complement the federal government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity when signed into law by the President.

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