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Senate amends Terrorism Act, makes it illegal to pay ransom to kidnappers

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2019 ELECTIONS: Senate approves N53bn ‎for ONSA, security agencies

The Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2013 has been passed by the Senate, outlawing ransom payments to kidnappers in Nigeria.

The bill was passed after the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters adopted its report in plenary on Wednesday.

Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, the Chairman of the Committee, said the bill sought to prohibit the payment of ransom to abductors, kidnappers, and terrorists in exchange for the release of anyone who had been wrongly detained, imprisoned, or kidnapped.

According to the legislator, the bill’s ultimate goal is to deter Nigeria’s growing scourge of kidnapping and abduction for ransom cases, which are rapidly spreading across the country.

In the memoranda provided to the committee, a slew of issues connected to terrorism and terrorism financing, as well as worldwide best practises, were discussed.

Bamidele stated that the amendment bill will establish standards and a regulatory structure to prevent terrorist organisations from laundering money through banks and other financial networks.

He went on to say that putting regulations in place to combat terrorism financing would certainly limit or destroy privacy and anonymity in financial and other activities involving the issue in society.

Read also: Senate identifies crude oil theft as major cause of Nigeria’s economic downturn

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that the bill would compliment the Federal Government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity when signed into law by the President.

“It is our belief here in the Senate, that this bill, by the time it is signed into an Act by Mr President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, and other associated and related vices.

“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.

“We have done so much like a government in terms of infrastructural development across all parts of this country but because the security situation is not the kind of situation that we all want, this tends to overshadow all the tremendous and massive developments in our country.

“It is our belief that the Executive will waste no time in signing this bill into law,” he said.

The Senate, thereafter, adjourned plenary until May 10, for the Sallah break.

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