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Senate Bill Prescribing Life Jail For Kidnapping Passes Second Reading

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Senate Warns Govt Against Job Embargo, Rise In Recurrent Expenditure

A bill meant to check the spate of abductions in the country passed a second reading at the Senate on Tuesday.

The bill proposes life imprisonment for the offence of kidnapping or any form of abduction, wrongful restraint and confinement .

The bill was sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central).

Leading the debate on the bill, Senator Amosun observed that kidnapping is a major security challenge confronting Nigeria in recent times.

According to the lawmaker, the light punishment for the offence has continued to make it grow and assume horrendous dimensions with a negative impact on the economy.

“The impact of kidnapping on both economic and daily life has been devastating.

READ ALSO: Anti-open Grazing Laws In Southern States Unrealistic – El-Rufai

“For many Nigerians, kidnapping is far more devastating than the carnage of Boko Haram in the northeast, or the carnage in the middle belt over land, pasture and water use between farmers and herders.

“In the rich oil south-south, kidnapping is often seen as a manifestation of the insurrection over how oil revenue is distributed.

“Overtime, the pool of potential victims has shockingly been expanded. No, most victims are often poor villagers, sometimes kidnapped indiscriminately, a departure from the targeted kidnapping of wealthy people. They struggle to pay ransoms because of their relative poverty; and this has resulted in many victims being killed in the process”, he said.

Amosun lamented that, “Nigeria has one of the highest rates of kidnaps for ransom of both locals and foreigners in all of Africa.”

He added: “While the insurgents in the North East now thrive on the proceeds of kidnappings, criminal elements in the South East and South West are also having a field day. In fact, kidnapping has now become a big and lucrative business.”

Citing recent statistics released by Neil Young Associates International – a specialist crisis prevention and response consultancy group – the lawmaker noted that Nigeria accounted for 26 percent of kidnapping and ransom incidents globally.

Similarly, Amosun said that a newspaper report published online on July 13, 2021, states that an average of 13 persons were abducted daily in Nigeria in the first half of 2021, bringing to 2,371 the number of reported persons kidnapped in the country within the first six months of the year.

He bemoaned the worrisome development, warning that the trend has the potential of negatively affecting Nigeria’s Foreign Direct Investment.

The lawmaker stated that the bill, therefore, seeks to introduce stiffer punishment for the offence of abduction, wrongful restraint and confinement for ransom.

“This bill also provides more punitive measures for ancillary crimes flowing from the commission of the crime of abduction, like death or grievous harm.

“To achieve the deterrent effect, life imprisonment is proposed for the offence of kidnapping, particularly where death results from the act.

“The law is made stricter by ensuring that recipients of any proceeds of the act of kidnapping are heavily sanctioned with a term of imprisonment of up to 30 years”, Amosun said.

READ ALSO: Govt Wants Supreme Court To Dismiss Rivers’ Bid To Stop Ceding Of 17 Oil Wells To Imo

The bill, according to him, also proposes to give the inspector general of police wider powers to enable adequate policing of the crime of kidnapping.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill after it was exhaustively debated, to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The committee which is chaired by Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

 

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Uncertainty Over Anambra Election As IPOB Declares One Week Sit-at-home Protest

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Uncertainty Over Anambra Election As IPOB Declares One Week Sit-at-home Protest

A week sit-at-home protest has been declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to prevail on the Federal to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The sit-at-home protest is billed for November 5 to November 10 .This threatens the governorship election in Anambra State that is scheduled to hold on November 6.

IPOB’s Media and Public Secretary, Emma Powerful disclosed this development in a statement made available to our correspondent in Awka, Anambra State on Saturday.

Powerful said, “Following the adjournment of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s court case to 10th of November 2021, by the Federal High Court, Abuja, we the great movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra wish to inform Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that IPOB will lock down Biafraland from 5th of November to 10th of November except Sunday, November 7th, a day our people worship the Almighty God if the Nigeria Government fails to release our leader unconditionally before 4th of November 2021.

“Our leader, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi must be released unconditionally on or before November 4, 2021 because he has not committed any offense known to any law.

“Failure to release our leader Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on or before November 4, 2021, our one week Sit-At-Home begins on November 5, 2021 till November 10.

“Although we quite understand the pains and adverse effects of this option on our people, we are compelled to take it to achieve a better purpose in the collective interest of Biafrans.

“We have taken time to analyse what transpired on October 21 when our Leader was arraigned in court and discovered that the federal government is not sincere and only wants to humiliate him and keep him perpetually in DSS custody to rot there.

READ ALSO: Abia Threatens To Seal Markets, Others Observing IPOB’s Sit-at-home Order

“We all saw how lawyers, journalists, Igbo delegates and respected traditional rulers and other people who came from all around the world to witness his court case were restricted and denied access into the court premises by security agents who kept them outside under the scorching heat of the sun. What a humiliation and wickedness!

“We cannot accept that anymore. We can never allow our leader Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to be tried secretly and we can never also allow him to be tried under Sharia law under any guise. Nigeria must follow International laws in handling our leader.

“Unless the federal government releases him unconditionally before November 4, we shall sacrifice one week for him as a warning protest to convey to our oppressors that Nnamdi Kanu represents over 70 million Biafrans.

“He is innocent of all the charges preferred against him. As long as he is in detention our individual businesses do not matter so much because he is suffering for us all and we can’t abandon him.

“We seriously regret the inconveniences this may cause our people but it’s a necessary sacrifice we need to make until we have our full independence. Nobody resident in Biafra land is expected to flout this directive as doing so amounts to challenging the will of the people on the Biafra project,” the release stated.

 

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I Already Know Of Three Presidential Aspirants In PDP – Makinde

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I Already Know Of Three Presidential Aspirants In PDP - Makinde

Ahead of its national convention, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has declared that he is aware of three people in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who have indicated interest in the 2023 presidential election.

Makinde listed these people as former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and his Bauchi State counterpart Bala Mohammed.

There have been speculations in the past weeks over the candidates for the next general elections, especially with the issues raised around zoning.

During an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, Makinde said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had “eminently qualified” personalities that could lead Nigeria.

He also said the only way the PDP could be stopped was if the party was divided internally.

“Once PDP governors are able to move in one direction, align on most of the issues and the challenges we are faced with, I think there is hope for this country.

READ ALSO: PDP Governors Meet Ahead Of Party Convention

“Our party has eminently qualified personalities that can lead this country successfully.

“Some have indicated interest like former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, like governor Tambuwal, like governor Bala Mohammed.

“The bottom line is when we get to that bridge, we will definitely cross it. What is important at this stage, which I will solicit the support of PDP members and the generality of Nigerians, is please support us to have a successful national convention.

“There is no way you can become anything — president, vice-president, even governor — if we don’t have a party.

What we want to do first is to ensure that we get things right within our party,” Makinde said.

When Makinde was asked if he thinks PDP would take over power from the APC in 2023, he replied: “Well, it is a question that I know Nigerians will answer and they will answer decisively.”

 

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PDP Governors Meet Ahead Of Party Convention

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PDP Governors Meet Ahead Of Party Convention

Ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) convention in about 10 days, governors in the party are currently meeting in Abuja.

The meeting, held at the Akwa Ibom State governor’s lodge, had in attendance Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

An official of the PDP Governors’ Forum who pleaded anonymity said the meeting was not unconnected with the heat generated by the collapse of consensus arrangement particularly in the South-East.

READ ALSO: How Igbo Presidency In 2023 May Help IPOB’s Secession Bid – Dokpesi

According to him, “The governors are scared of the implication of going to the convention in crisis. When you see a position micro-zoned to a region or state and a consensus cannot be reached, then there is a problem. This is what the governors want to deal with.”

 

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