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Senate proposes 15 years in prison for Nigerians paying ransom to kidnappers

Senate house closed for 2 weeks

The Senate today considered a bill that seeks to stop the payment and receipt of ransom for the release of any person abducted, imprisoned or wrongfully confined.

Nigerians who pay ransom to kidnappers and kidnappers who receive ransom risk 15 years imprisonment, according to the bill.

The bill which scaled second reading during plenary, is sponsored by Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi.

According to Onyewuchi, the bill essentially seeks to substitute for section 14 of the Principal Act a new section to read, “Anyone who transfers funds, makes payment or colludes with an abductor, kidnapper or terrorist to receive any ransom for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped is guilty of a felony and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years.”

He raised alarm that kidnapping has become a fast and lucrative business, adding that, “it has now remained the most virulent form of banditry in Nigeria and the most pervasive and intractable violent crime in the country.”

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