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Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Ransom Payment

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Senate Amends Electoral Act

A bill seeking to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013, which will prohibit the payment of ransom to kidnappers in Nigeria was passed on Wednesday.

The passage of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters.

The report was laid by the Committee’s Chairman, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), before consideration.

Bamidele, in his presentation, said the bill seeks to outlaw the payment of ransom to abductors, kidnappers, and terrorists for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, improper.

According to the lawmaker, “the overall import of this bill is to discourage the rising spate of kidnapping and abduction for ransom In Nigeria, which is fast spreading across the country.”

He disclosed that in the memoranda presented to the committee, the plethora of issues relating to the subject matter of terrorism and terrorism financing in line with global best practices were raised.

He said that the amendment to the Terrorism Act would set standards and regulatory system intended to prevent terrorist groups from laundering money through the banking system and other financial networks.

READ ALSO: Senate Considers Bill To Prohibit Payment Of Ransom For Kidnapping

He added that, “having policies in place to combat financing of terrorism will surely reduce or eliminate privacy and anonymity in financial and other sundry transactions as it relates to the subject in
our society.”

He explained further that the need to comprehensively review the Terrorism Prevention Act arose from the unfavorable ratings of Financial Act Task Force (FATF) recommendations of Nigeria’s Mutual Evaluation Report and consequent placement of Nigeria in FATF’S International Cooperation and Review Group Process with its impending sanctions on Nigeria’s economy.

He stated that the National Task Force on improving Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in Nigeria proposed improvement on the Act in order to address the deficiencies noted in its provisions so as to align with the required standard as obtainable in other jurisdictions.

He emphasised that the proposed repeal and enactment Bill was geared toward improving the effectiveness of action against terrorism, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing.

The lawmaker noted that the repeal is aimed at providing an adequate framework for improved international collaboration, inter-agency cooperation, and freezing of terrorist funds/assets.

Bamidele said that, “the passage of this Bill will save Nigeria from being included among countries in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Grey List with its attendant negative consequences, which might ultimately result in international sanctions that would affect the image of the country in the comity of nations.”

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the bill was passed, said the bill would complement the federal government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity when signed into law by the President.

READ ALSO: Navy Tells National Assembly Not To Criminalise Ransom Payment

He said, “It is our belief here in the Senate, that this bill, by the time signed into an Act by Mr. President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, and other associated and related vices.

“This is one piece of legislation that can turn around not only the security situation in Nigeria but even the economic fortunes of our country.

“We have done so much as a government, in terms of infrastructural development across all parts of this country, but because the security situation is not the kind of situation that we all want, this tends to overshadow all the tremendous and massive developments in our country.

“I believe that the Executive will waste no time in signing this bill into law, and it is our hope that this additional piece of legislation will achieve the purpose for which it has been worked upon by the Senate, and, indeed, the National Assembly and, for the reason for which it would also be signed by Mr. President.

“Let me make it very clear here, that the fight against insecurity, whether it is kidnapping, terrorism, or whatsoever, is not the sole role of a government.

“The contribution and support by citizens are essential because our security agencies need vital and critical information against terrorism and other things that make life difficult for us.”

The bill was passed by the chamber after it scaled third reading on the floor.

The Senate, thereafter, adjourned the plenary session till May 10, 2022, for the Sallah break.

 

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AfAW Condemns Killing Of Two Men Over Witchcraft In Benue

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AfAW Condemns Killing Of Two Men Over Witchcraft In Benue

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches has condemned the gruesome murder of Kwaghange Ugbu and Atuur Shaaja of Gwer East LGA of Benue. The murder of Ugbu and Shaaja happened less than two months after some youths attacked an alleged witch in Shangev Tiev, Konshisha LGA.

Quoting local sources, Dr Leo Igwe of AfAW said that on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, David Terseer Nongobo, 25, a native of Mbaaku Mbasombo Gwer East LGA of Benue, slumped while working on the farm. He was later confirmed dead at a local hospital. David had recently completed his secondary school education.

In reaction to his death, some members of the community, notably, Aper Iorfa, Ter Tarnongo, Bamo Oraduen, Terhemen Agber, etc stormed the house of David’s uncles, Kwaghange Ugbu and Atuur Shaaja. They accused them of killing David Terseer through witchcraft. They beat and cut him with cutlasses and axes. They tied a rope around their neck and dragged them until they died.

READ ALSO: Advocacy For Alleged Witches Petitions NHRC Over Witchcraft Markets Event

Eyewitnesses said that as they were being tortured, the accused could be heard shouting in the local language: ” We don’t know anything about the death of this boy”. And the mobs were shouting back: “We will torture both of you to death for killing Tersoo with your witchcraft”. Members of their families; their wives ( Mary Kwaghhange and Martha Kwaghange) and sons watched helplessly as the accused were beaten and tortured to death.

A family member told AfAW that relatives of the deceased tried to intervene to save them without success. The son of Kwaghhange Ugbu, Sunday, tried to intervene and was told that he would also be tortured like his father if he tried to do so. His younger brother tried to resist the mob but was beaten. The corpses of the deceased were left in the open, at the compound of Ugbu, till the next day. No one was permitted to touch them. On September 29, the bodies were taken and deposited at the mortuary.

AfAW urged the Commissioner of Police and the Benue state government to arrest and prosecute the suspects and ensure that justice is done.

“They should send a strong message that jungle justice will not be tolerated in Benue and that those who engage in trial by ordeal and extrajudicial killings of alleged witches will answer for their crimes.

“The National Human Rights Commission, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, and the social welfare department should liaise and support the families of victims”, AfAW said.

AfAW enjoined the people of Benue to desist from witchcraft accusations and witch persecutions.

READ ALSO: Ukpabio’s Rescuing Families From Witchcraft Markets

“They should realize that witchcraft is superstition. Witchcraft accusation is a crime under the law. The people of Benue should abandon superstitions and embrace science and critical thinking”, the group added.

Dr. Igwe directs Advocacy for Alleged Witches, which campaigns to end witch persecution in Africa.

 

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BREAKING: Peter Obi’s Supporters Lock Down Lagos

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PHOTOS: Massive Turnout As Youths Embark On One Million Match For Peter Obi

From Lekki to Surulere and Festac, thousands of residents of Lagos on Saturday demonstrated their support for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).

Many of the supporters on Saturday morning were seen holding the posters of the LP candidate and his vice, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, who had branded vests as they marched around and moved to the bridge leading.

The rally caused both human and vehicular traffic around the Stadium axis, from Alaka and Teslim Balogun Stadium and down to Ojuelegba.

READ ALSO: Exposed: The Real Peter Obi

A Third Force Movement appealed to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to approve the car park of the National Stadium Lagos, for the October 1 rally of supporters of Labour Party, LP, Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.

Noting that the use of the stadium would avert unintended lockdown, The Third Force Movement, in a statement by Mr. Olawale Okunniyi, said without the approval the organisers cannot stop Nigerians from using other venues like Gani Fawehinmi Park or Lekki Toll Gate.

At Lekki Toll Gate, the Lagos State Police Command was able to enforce strict compliance with the no rally order.

A federal high court in Lagos had on Wednesday ordered the LP and its supporters not to converge on the Lekki tollgate

 

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BREAKING: APC Disagrees With Lawan , To Appeal Against Judgment Declaring Machina Senatorial Candidate

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BREAKING: APC Disagrees With Lawan , To Appeal Against Judgment Declaring Machina Senatorial Candidate

Less than 24 hours after Senate President Ahmed Lawan declared that he would not appeal against the ruling of a Federal High Court in Damaturu, the state capital, on Wednesday on the Yobe North senatorial seat matter, his All Progressives Congress (APC) has decided otherwise..

The APC in the state is determined to go on appeal over the matter.

The lower court had in its verdict, not only affirmed Bashir Machina as the party’s candidate for next year’s election, but ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise him as such, a position the nation’s number three man said he would not appeal against.

However, in another turn of events, Mohammed Gadaka, Chairman of the APC in the state, arguing that the party had taken it as a duty to protect the Senate President, indicated party’s intention to proceed to the appellate court.

READ  ALSO: I Won’t Appeal Against Judgment Declaring Machina Senatorial Candidate – Lawan

“We are aware of the Wednesday, September 28, 2022, ruling of the Federal High Court in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, with respect to the forthcoming Yobe north Senatorial District election. However, we respectfully reject the decision of the President of the Senate, His Excellency Senator Ahmad Lawan, accepting the judgment of the court which disqualified his candidature and participation in the election.

“In exercise of our legal rights, the Yobe State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has decided to appeal the Federal High Court ruling in the interest of Yobe State, Nigeria and good governance. We have a duty to protect and sustain Senator Ahmed Lawan’s twenty-three years exemplary sojourn as a lawmaker and his impeccable record of leadership and patriotism – and commitment to making Nigeria work.”

 

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