The Senate has prohibited the payment of ransoms to kidnappers in its bid to complement the Federal Government’s effort to tackle the disturbing spate of insecurity in the country.
Payment of kidnap ransom was criminalised by the lawmakers during Wednesday’s plenary in Abuja as they passed the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
The prohibition by the lawmakers followed the receipt and consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters on the bill.
Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who chairs the committee, had moved that the lawmakers receive the report after which he presented it for consideration.
Thereafter, the lawmakers resolved into the committee of the whole to consider the report, clause by clause, and reverted to plenary to report progress.
This led to the reading of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for the third time and its subsequent passage.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, congratulated his colleagues on the passage of the bill which he said was very important.
“It is believed here in the Senate that this bill, by the time it is signed into Act by Mr President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, and other associated vices,” he said.
“This is one piece of legislation that can turn around not only the security issues of Nigeria but even the economy of the 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.”
According to Lawan, the fight against insecurity is not the sole purpose of a government and the contributions and support of the citizens are essential.
He explained that this was because the security agencies need critical information to tackle terrorism, kidnapping, and other threats to the nation’s security.
The Senate President stated that the security agencies were trying their best but needed to do more and achieve better results.
“With this, once again, I want to congratulate the Senate for this very important piece of legislation,” he concluded.
Amotekun Corps Arrest Suspects In Connection With Owo Church Attack
The Amotekun Corps in Ondo State have arrested a number of persons in connection with the massacre of worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
The Commander of the Corp, Adetunji Adeleye made this disclosure while addressing newsmen in Akure, the state capital.
Adeleye, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspects arrested, but the corps leader was optimistic that everyone who was involved in the Owo Attack would be brought to book.
When contacted for confirmations, the Ondo State Police Command through its spokesperson, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, said the force is not aware of such and arrest.
Nevertheless, it is expected that the Amotekun Corps would hand the suspects over to the police for further investigations and onward prosecution.
This arrest is the latest development following the attack which left millions devastated across the country.
It comes barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari assured Nigerians that the attackers who he described as “cowards” behind recent assaults on churches in the country will be punished.
“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice.
Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavor,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu.
“For now, I urge all Nigerians to come together in prayer-whether Christian, Muslim, or any of our great faiths- let us hold the victims and their families in our hearts and minds.
“Let us show the cowards who seek to divide us along religious lines that we will not be divided. Let us show them that Nigerians will continue to cherish what we share while respecting each other’s differences. Let us show them that Nigerians will never be bullied by cowards, extremists, or terrorists.”
According to President Buhari, the country’s religious freedom and diversity are what makes Nigeria great.
Owo Church killing: Ondo Govt Opens Account For Donations
The Ondo State Government has opened an account to receive donations from people who may wish to assist the victims of the terrorist attack in Owo, Ondo State.
This was made known on Wednesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State, Richard Olatunde.
He commended the donations received so far while calling on well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies willing to assist the victims of the terrorist attack may do so in the following account:
ACCOUNT NAME- ODSG- OWO TERRORIST ATTACK RELIEF FUND.
ACCOUNT NO -1401203148
BANK: PROVIDUS BANK
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has assured that the state government on its part will remain unshaken in committing its resources to the security of lives and property.
He noted that efforts are deepened to ensure that the survivors of the attack at various hospitals are given the best medical care.
Bandits Kill 32, Destroy Houses In Fresh Kaduna Attack
No fewer than 32 people have been reportedly killed by bandits in separate attacks on four communities within Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The affected communities are Ungwan Gamu, Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Maikori.
The police are yet to confirm the incident, but the District Head of Kufena, Titus Dauda , told Channels Television that the attacks occurred on Sunday and that 32 people lost their lives while a church and several houses were destroyed in the process.
He added that the bandits in their large numbers first attacked Dogon Noma in the early hours of Sunday morning, and killed several people mostly men , before proceeding to Ungwan Gamu and Maikori villages where they also killed people and burnt down houses.
The district head further disclosed that the victims have been laid to rest while the affected communities have been deserted by the residents due to fear of being attacked.
A resident of one of the communities, also claimed that a helicopter was seen shooting at the residents from the air, while the remaining bandits were on the ground to attack any fleeing residents.
However, a top security source countered the claim, saying that the military engaged the bandits both by ground and air, adding that this eventually forced the bandits to retreat.
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