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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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Aides Have Hijacked Leadership From Buhari – Babachir Lawal

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Aides Have Hijacked Leadership From Buhari- - Babachir Lawal

President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer in charge of his government as some of his aides have hijacked his leadership of the country according to Babachir Lawal.

Babachir, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, spoke when he appeared on Channels Television’s “The Verdict 2023”, on Friday night.

Speaking about the state of governance of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Lawal said things were out of the hands of the President.

He further stated that those in the present regime who had the ears of the president refused to carry out the expectations of the President or the public.

Lawal also said before the president’s election into office in 2015, he had shown a remarkable sense of leadership, while he previously held positions as governor of Borno State, Minister of Petroleum, and military Head of State, but had challenges with his “lieutenants”, and deciding who executed projects and orders when he came into power as President.

“Things are out of his hands, there’s no running away from that fact. There are people that do not take the orders they are given. As soon as they leave where the order is given, they go and do different things. There is nothing like cabal. There is no government that does not have an inner caucus. There’s no government. There are people who have the ears of the President, to whom the President by functionality, their functions in government, ought to do things, but they are not doing what the President tells them to do, or what the President expects them to do, or what society itself expects them to do.

“I can tell you this, I know President Buhari very well, even long before he became President, and most Nigerians also knew him. And the expectation was that based on his antecedents as former governor of Borno State, former Minister of Petroleum, and then President, he had shown a remarkable sense of ability to rule.

READ  ALSO: I’ll End Cash Crisis In Seven Days – Buhari

“By 2015, we were almost at the same level where we are this time around; people were fed up. But when he got in, I think the President had issues with his lieutenants, about who executes the orders he gives, and who executes the policies that he makes. And that is really my own side of things.”

Asked about his switch from his support for, and membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress, to join the Labour Party which has Peter Obi as its presidential candidate, Babachir said: “I’ve seen the light; you can repent when you see the light. I’ve seen the light, I saw the light and I repented, I’m sorry. I did that before. The light is Peter Obi. The darkness is the old system that used to govern us, which is represented by both the PDP and the APC. No change. The same people, the same agbada, the same red face cap. The same people. So Nigerians have seen the light, not only me.”

 

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BREAKING: I’ll End Cash Crisis In Seven Days – Buhari

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BREAKING: I'll End Cash Crisis In Seven Days - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged citizens to give him seven days to resolve the cash crunch that has become a problem across the country from the Central Bank of Nigeria policy to change high-value naira notes with new ones.

During the Progressives Governors’ Forum who paid him a visit at the Presidential Villa to seek solutions to the cash crunch which they said was threatening the good records of the administration in transforming the economy, Buhari said the currency re-design would give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits. He expressed doubts about the commitment of banks in particular to the success of the policy.

“Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves”, said the president, “even if a year is added, problems associated with selfishness and greed won’t go away.”

He said he had seen television reports about cash shortages and hardship to local businesses and ordinary people and gave assurances that the balance of seven of the 10-day extension would be used to crack down on whatever stood in the way of successful implementation.

“I will revert to the CBN and the minting company. There will be a decision one way or the other in the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension,” the president was quoted to have said in a statement released by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.

The governors told the president that while they agreed that his decision on the currency redesign was good and that they were fully in support, its execution had been botched and their constituents were becoming increasingly upset.

They told the president that, as leaders of the government and party in their different states, they were becoming anxious about a slump in the economy and the series of elections that are coming.

READ  ALSO: Buhari, APC Governors Meet In Also Rock

They requested the president to use his powers to direct the concurrent use of the new and old notes till the end of the year.

The president said when he considered giving approval to the policy, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes would be printed in a foreign country and they, in turn, gave him assurances that there was enough capacity, manpower and equipment to print the currency for local needs. He said he needed to go back to find out what was actually happening.

Buhari told the governors that, being closer to the people, he had heard their cries and would act in a way that there would be a solution.

 

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BREAKING: Buhari, APC Governors Meet In Also Rock

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President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC are currently meeting in Aso Rock.

The governors, under the aegis of the Progressives Governors Forum, are meeting with the president at the council chamber of the State House, Abuja.

The reason for the meeting is still sketchy at the moment but it may not be unconnected to the ambition of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Kaduna sate governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had a few days ago, raised the alarm alleging that some elements in the presidency are working against the former Lagos governor.

Those currently at the meeting are governors of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai; Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu; Imo State, Hope Uzodimma; Zamfara State, Bello Matawale; Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje; Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun; Yobe State, Mai Bala-Buni; Niger State, Sani Bello; and Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

 

 

 

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