15-year jail: National Assembly members will pay ransom if kidnapped —Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has described as stupid, a Senate bill that seeks to prohibit the payment and receipt of ransom for the release of any person kidnapped, imprisoned or wrongfully confined.

Falana, who spoke on a PUNCH Live interview programme on Friday, said the National Assembly should rather focus on ensuring they make laws that guarantee adequate security for every Nigerian.

He said the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which scaled second reading during plenary on Wednesday, is the most jejune bill and it will fail.

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

Reacting, Falana said all National Assembly members will pay ransom if any of them was kidnapped, adding that ordinary Nigerians paying ransom are pushed by the irresponsibility and the failure of the government to secure lives and properties.

He said, “The bill is the most jejune bill that has ever been entertained by the National Assembly since 1999. It is so irrelevant.

Kidnapping is fast becoming a lucrative ‘enterprise’ in Nigeria as the West African nation’s security situation worsens. Hundreds of Nigerians, mostly the vulnerable – children and women – have fallen victims of kidnappers in recent times and their families have had to part with millions of naira to secure their release after days or even weeks of excruciating pains and agony. Some families have not been so lucky, however, as the daredevil kidnappers rape and kill their victims even after receiving ransom

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