Nigeria Senate on Wednesday resolved to pass a bill that would make provisions for death penalty as the punishment for anyone caught in the act of kidnapping.
The resolution followed the adoption of a report by the Joint Committee on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence presented by its Chairman, Senator Abu Ibrahim.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, supported the motion, while narrating his personal ordeal in the hands of kidnappers.
He said: “Just recently, one of my relations also was kidnapped. So, I believe I am talking as an expert or an experienced person in kidnapping. I know the psychology of kidnappers because I stayed for two days with them.
“These are normal human beings who are sometimes looking for money and also afraid of security agencies. I think there are three types of kidnappers.
“There are some who kidnapped either to make a statement or to intimidate the government, like the Boko Haram people and the Niger Delta militants. Then there is another type of kidnappers, these are just normal armed robbers.
“Sometimes, they just kidnapped you, put you in the boot and they can even use the vehicle as an escape or they use it to rob. Such kidnappers, once they succeed, it’s either they take away the vehicle, use it or they dump their victim.
“But the third type, which is very dangerous, is the professional kidnappers, who kidnapped for money and that is the one we are focusing on this afternoon. We have encouraged this type of kidnapping because we panic and pay money most times. This kind of kidnappers, when they take you, they put you somewhere else and they can refer you to negotiate so that they can set you free and go for another business.
“Most times, our people are reluctant to delay or endure the inconvenience or the hardship and then they quickly negotiate and if we can discourage this kind of kidnappings, the only way forward is to insist that you will not pay.”
Senator Dino Melaye, who also supported the motion, advocated firing squad for all kidnappers.
This is coming after the Senate on November 19, 2015, setup a committee to engage the Inspector General of Police (IG), Solomon Arase, and Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS), Mamman Daura, on recurrent cases of kidnapping and hostage taking, and recommend its findings to the chamber.
Part of the recommendations made by the committee was adequate funding of security agencies and generation of employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.
The Senate also tasked security agencies to embark on training and retraining of security personnel for effective capacity building. It charged state governments to make laws that will enable security agencies prosecute kidnappers and culprits of related offences in their respective domains, while canvassing the need for synergy and intelligence sharing among security agencies.
However, the committee observed that security agencies had been unable to perform optimally as a result of inadequate funding which it said deprived them of the opportunity to procure modern technology and equipment just as it advocated the need to encourage the IG and DG of DSS to be more committed.
The committee further noted what it described as “unnecessary and unhealthy rivalry among the security agencies leading to lack of required synergy and intelligence sharing on time,” adding that “Relations of the victims are always ready to pay ransom which tend to encourage the criminals.”
Also yesterday, a bill seeking a five-year jail term for lecturers in tertiary institutions who exploit their vantage positions to subject female students to sexual harassment passed first reading.