The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), through its Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) has condemned in strong terms the plans by the National Assembly to criminalize the payment of ransom.
Addressing a press conference today covered by Trek Africa Newspaper, the Chairman of NBA-SPIDEL, Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani said: ‘NBA-SPIDEL condemns unequivocally the attempt by our national legislators to criminalize ransom payment by victims of kidnapping without tackling the root cause of kidnapping. Law ought to reflect reality in any given society.’
The respected human rights lawyer added: ‘The truth of the matter is that victims of kidnapping pay ransoms out of desperation and abject helplessness, knowing fully well that the State has failed and is unable to protect lives and property or secure the release of their loved ones from kidnappers’ den. It is very appalling therefore that the same country that has failed to provide security to the people it governs is embarking on a ‘suicide mission’ of criminalizing ransom payment by the very victims that are helpless and desperate to save the lives of their loved ones.’
‘This piece of legislation under contemplation lacks logic and wisdom and the House of Representatives is hereby advised jettison the Bill without any further consideration. It does not make any sense at all! Instead, the Legislature is strongly advised to focus on laws that will strengthen national security and protection of lives and property, assuming there is a lacuna’, Trek Africa Newspaper gathered.
The press conference held today is in preparation for the NBA-SPIDEL Annual Conference slated for 22nd – 26th May, 2022 in Sokoto state.
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