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NEWS: Ransom Payment To Terrorists, Navy, EFCC Disagree With Senate.

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2nd December 2023

The Nigerian Navy and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) on Thursday in Abuja rejected the proposed criminalisation of ransom payment to abductors, terrorists and kidnappers to secure release of hostages.

Rear Admiral K.O. Egbuchulam, a representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, spoke at the National Assembly, Abuja, during a public hearing on Terrorism Prevention Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, which seeks to outlaw payment of ransom to secure the release of captives.

The sitting was jointly arranged by the Senate Committees on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes; Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions

Section(14) of the bill provides that, “Anyone who transfers funds, makes payment or colludes with an abductor, kidnapper or terrorist to receive any ransom for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped is guilty of a felony and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years.”

He(Egbuchulam) said “It is suggested that the Bill could make the negotiation/proposed payment of ransom to kidnappers or terrorists to secure release of hostages subject to the prior knowledge of the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA/Armed Forces of Nigeria/Police for coordination.

Director, Legal and Prosecution Department, Chile Okoroma, who represented the EFCC applauded most of the provisions of the bill but kicked against the proposed prosecution of somebody that paid ransom, saying it should be narrowed down to those who received ransom not those that paid it.

the Chairman, Senate Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Bamidele sought to outlaw payment of ransom to abductors, kidnappers and terrorists for release of someone who has been wrongly confined or imprisoned.

He said: “The Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 202 The Bill was sponsored by Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi. (Imo East Senatorial District).

“The bill, among other things, seeks to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013 in order to outlaw the payment of ransom to terrorists.”


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