By Christiana Ekpa
Senate yesterday approved death sentence for offences of abduction, wrongful restraints or wrongful confinement for a ransom.
This was just as the Upper Chamber passed a bill to provide for the punishment of offences of abduction, wrongful restraints or wrongful confinement for a ransom.
This followed the clause by clause consideration of the report by the lawmakers during plenary.
Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu) presented the report on behalf of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Sen. David Umaru.
The Bill was sponsored by Sen. Isa Misau (APC-Bauchi).
While presenting the report, Utazi said the Bill sought to prescribe stiff punishment for the offence of abduction, wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement for ransom.
He said that the bill sought to combat and prevent any form of kidnapping in Nigeria and wider powers be given to the Inspector-General of Police to ensure adequate policing of the crime.
Clause 1 (3) of the Bill stated that “Whoever is guilty of the offence and then results in the death of the victim shall be liable on conviction to be sentenced to death.”
Clause 5 (2) of the bill revealed that “Anyone who fails to produce any book, account, receipts, vouchers or other documents which is in his possession or control shall be guilty of an offence.
The person shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both fine and imprisonment.”
Clause 3 provides a 30- year jail term to anyone who colludes with abductor to receive any ransom for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined.
The report was unanimously accepted by the lawmakers after a voice vote put out by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki.
The senate also passed the Bill for the Prohibition and Protection of Persons from Lynching.
However, the report of the Committee on Trade and Investment on Counterfeit Goods Bill was stepped down due to technical irregularities.
Saraki, thereafter, referred the report to the Legal Department and urged chairmen of all committees to ensure their reports passed through the legal department before consideration by the senate.