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Senate passes bill banning payment of ransom to kidnappers

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The Senate on Wednesday passed the amendment of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013, prohibiting the payment of ransom to kidnappers in the country.

The passage of Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters at the plenary on Wednesday.

According to the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, who presented the report to the plenary, the bill sought to outlaw the payment of ransom to abductors, kidnappers and terrorists for release of persons who had either been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped.

Bamidele stressed that the bill is aimed at stemming the rising spate f kidnapping and abduction for ransom across the country.

The lawmaker assured that the amendment bill would set standards and regulatory system intended to prevent terrorist groups from laundering money through the banking system and other financial networks.

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Having strong laws in place to combat financing of terrorism would surely either reduce or eliminate privacy and anonymity in financial and other sundry transactions, Bamidele said.

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

He said: “It is our belief here in the Senate, that this bill, by the time 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 as a government in terms of infrastructural development across all parts of this country but because 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.”

 

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