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Senate passes bill for punishment of offences of abduction, others

The Senate on Thursday, passed a Bill for a law against abduction, wrongful restraint or wrongful confinement for a ransom.

This came after a clause-by-clause consideration of a Report on the issue by Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters at plenary.

The Bill was sponsored by Sen. Isa Misau (APC-Bauchi) and Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu) and presented on behalf of the Chairman of the committee, Sen. David Umaru.

While presenting it, Utazi said the Bill sought to prescribe stiff punishment for the offence of abduction, wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement for ransom.

He said the bill sought to combat and prevent any form of kidnapping in Nigeria and gave wider powers to the Inspector-General of Police to ensure adequate combating of crime.

Clause 1 (3) of the Bill states that “whoever is guilty of the offence and then results in the death of the victim shall be liable on conviction to be sentenced to death.’’

Clause 5 (2) reveals that “anyone who fails to produce any book, account, receipts, vouchers or other documents which is in his possession or control shall be guilty of an offence.

“The person shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N100, 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both fine and imprisonment.”

Clause 3 provides a 30-year jail term to anyone who colludes with abductor to receive any ransom for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined.

The report was unanimously accepted by the lawmakers after a voice vote put by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate also passed the Bill for the Prohibition and Protection of Persons from Lynching.

However, the report of the Committee on Trade and Investment on Counterfeit Goods Bill was stepped down due to technical irregularities.

Saraki, thereafter, referred the report to Legal Department of the National Assembly and urged chairmen of all committees to ensure that their reports passed through the legal department before consideration by the Senate.



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