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Senate Bill Prescribing Life Jail For Kidnapping Passes Second Reading

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Senate Passes Bill Granting Full Autonomy To Local Government Areas

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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Politics

Muslim-Muslim Ticket Unacceptable – Kukah

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket Unacceptable - Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket as unacceptable.

Bishop Kukah told Channels Television on Thursday that the ticket was a setback to the country’s national integration.

Against the clamour of Nigerians, the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu had picked Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

While Tinubu is a Muslim from the Southwest, Shettima is a Muslim from the North.

READ ALSO: Why I Won’t Lose Sleep Over Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket – Kukah

However, Kukah wondered if Muslims would accept a Christian-Christian presidential ticket.

He said Nigerians would wait to hear what they have to say when the campaign starts.

He said: “But moving forward, the question I have asked my friends who are Muslims, especially those who are from northern Nigeria, is a simple question: ‘Would Muslims in Nigeria or northern Nigeria be ready to make the same concession that Christians made in 1984 and 1993?

“I think that as a Christian, this is totally reprehensible. It is not acceptable to me, but that is the decision of the APC as a party. Perhaps, when the campaign starts, we will hear what people have to say.”

 

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Akpabio, Lawan Remain Disqualified From Senatorial Election – INEC

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Akpabio, Lawan Remain Disqualified From Senatorial Election - INEC

The senatorial ambitions of former Minister of Niger Delta Godswill Akpabio and Senate President Ahmed Lawan in 2023 may have irrevocably failed.

This is because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday denied altering electoral documents in favour of Lawan and Akpabio.

Names of the duo were missing from the list of successfully nominated candidates submitted to INEC by the 18 political parties in June.

Having lost out in their quest for the 2023 presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Messrs Lawan and Akpabio have been making efforts to claim the senatorial tickets of the party for the Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial Districts, respectively.

While Bashir Machina and Udom Ekpoudom had emerged as candidates in the primaries supervised by INEC officials in their respective senatorial zones, the names of Messrs Lawan and Akpabio, who did not participate in the elections were instead forwarded to the commission as candidates.

The acceptance of names was justified by the Akwa-Ibom INEC REC, Mike Igini, but the ultimate decision currently rests with the court.

“INEC has no powers to reject names sent by political parties. Primaries are the sole prerogatives of parties. INEC’s responsibility is merely to monitor the primaries and make sure they abide by their own regulations, the Electoral Act & the Constitution,” Mr Igini said in a report.

However, a media report on Tuesday said INEC had backdated Certified True Copies of reports of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries “to accommodate” Messrs Lawan and Akpabio..

Although Akpabio had won a rerun held in the zone, there is no report of a similar election held in Yobe where Machina in Yobe emerged the winner.

READ ALSO: Wike, Akpabio Attack Each Other In Rivers

In a statement by its spokesperson, Festus Okoye, on Tuesday, INEC denied doctoring or certifying any document in favour of either of the two APC chieftains.

The commission said it had followed through its timetable and there was no point in its schedules where the names of the persons in question were published.

“The forms of the two personalities in question were not published by the commission. The decision of the commission triggered legal actions which are still ongoing. It therefore defies logic and common sense to go around and submit doctored documents purportedly recognising the duo as candidates when the matter is clearly sub-judice,” the statement said.

Okoye said the copy of the form uploaded on the online news platform as evidence, was not properly fact-checked and had thereby encouraged misinformation.

“As part of the ongoing case in court, a law firm requested the commission for a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Form EC9 submitted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District which we are duty bound to oblige them under the law. The Form was certified on 15th July 2022. If minimum care had been exercised by the promoters of the story, they would have seen the two stamps of the commission bearing different dates on the form. It is this form that is now misconstrued as INEC’ s endorsement.

“For the record, the commission has not recognised either of the two personalities as a senatorial candidate,” Okoye further explained.

He called for responsible reporting of the development just as he described the story by the online platform as an unwarranted attack on the electoral body.

 

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Why I Quit APC – Buhari’s Nephew

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Why I Quit APC - Buhari's Nephew

President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew Fatuhu Muhammed who left the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has given reasons why he took the decision.

Muhammed, son of Buhari’s elder brother, and the lawmaker, who represents Daura/Mai’Adua/Sandamu Federal Constituency of Katsina State in the National Assembly, failed to secure his re-election ticket after polling 30 votes, while Aminu Jamo, his rival secured 117 votes.

READ  ALSO: Why Buhari Is More Loyal To Niger Republic

Since the primaries, there have been clashes between the camps of Fatuhu and Jamo.

Muhammed said he left APC because his rival abused his father.

“I received an audio recording where their candidate (Jamo) called my father, Alhaji Mamman Dan Baffalo, by name and abused him. Alhaji Mamman Dan Baffallo and President Buhari are of the same father and mother.”

“Out of the 26 children born by their father, they are the only males that are from the same father and mother. So, abusing my father is abusing the president.

“So, I said since the issue has gone beyond politics to denigrating the dignity of my parents, I cannot take it any longer, and it is not binding on me to stay in the party, so I decided to leave,” he said.

 

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