Home » Minister of Defence Urges Nigerians to Halt Illegal Ransom Payments to Kidnappers

Minister of Defence Urges Nigerians to Halt Illegal Ransom Payments to Kidnappers

by KINGSLEY OYEMA

The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, has called on Nigerians to cease the illegal practice of paying ransom to kidnappers and bandits, emphasizing that such payments only embolden criminals and jeopardize public safety. Mr. Badaru made this appeal during a briefing after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

The minister’s statement comes in response to reports of individuals sourcing funds to pay abductors in the Bwari Area Council of Abuja, leading to tragic outcomes for some victims whose families couldn’t meet the ransom demands.

“As you are aware, people are saying FCT, FCT, these kidnappings happen around the suburb, around locations that are bothering Kaduna and Niger states. And this is a result of the current operations going on in the North-west and some parts of North- central.

President Bola Tinubu, during a meeting with service chiefs on Tuesday, directed security agencies to intensify efforts in flushing out criminal perpetrators within the society. Minister Badaru revealed that concerted efforts are underway to address the issue, particularly focusing on areas bordering Kaduna and Niger states.

“Yesterday, we are aware Mr President called us and all the service chiefs to discuss this issue. So, concerted efforts are being done by security to stop it immediately.

“The bandits are fleeing and they are getting shelters around these areas and the security agencies are working very hard to push them out, block the movement and finish this thing once and for all,” he said.

Regarding the illegal act of raising funds to pay ransom, Mr. Badaru stressed that it not only encourages criminal activities but is also against the law. He cited recent legislative actions, including the Senate passing the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, which increases penalties for those involved in funding criminal activities related to kidnapping.

The amended section of the law now specifies that anyone transferring funds, making payments, or colluding with abductors, kidnappers, or terrorists to receive ransom is guilty of a felony, liable to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years.

“Anyone who transfers funds, makes payment or colludes with an abductor, kidnapper or terrorist to receive any ransom for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped is guilty of a felony and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years.”

Minister Badaru urged Nigerians to avoid discussing security matters in public or the media, citing the potential implications for security agencies in countering criminals. He emphasized the need for a strategic and discreet approach to manage the kidnapping situation, urging citizens to work quietly and intelligently towards achieving a productive resolution to these incidents.

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