The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday prohibited the payment of ransom to terrorists, bandits and kidnappers in the country. It has been reported that the Red Chamber made the prohibition during the passage of a bill seeking to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013.
The bill was passed by the Senate after it scaled third reading on the floor and renamed Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, submitted by its Chairman, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.
In his presentation, Bamidele said the bill seeks to ban the payment of ransom to abductors, kidnappers, and terrorists for the release of any person who is in captivity.
He added that the bill seeks to discourage the rising spate of kidnapping and abduction for ransom In Nigeria, which is fast spreading across the country.
Bamidele said the need to comprehensively review the Terrorism Prevention Act arose from the unfavourable ratings of Financial Act Task Force (FATF) recommendations on Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.
The lawmaker added that the amendment of the act was the consequent placement of Nigeria in FATF’S International Cooperation and Review Group Process with its impending sanctions on Nigeria’s economy.
He stated 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 the proposed repeal and enactment Bill was geared towards improving the effectiveness of countermeasures against terrorism, terrorism financing and proliferation financing.
In his remarks, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the bill would complement the federal government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity when signed into law by the President.
He expressed the belief that the President will waste no time in signing this bill into law, and hoped that the amended act will achieve the purpose of curbing insecurity in the country.