Defence Minister Asks Nigerians to Stop Paying Ransom for Kidnapped Relatives
The Defense Minister, Mohammed Badaru, has cautioned Nigerians against raising money to pay ransom to kidnappers and bandits to free their abducted relatives or children.
Badaru said payment of ransom violated the Terrorism Act of 2023 and 2022, which stipulates a minimum 15-year jail term for the transfer of funds and payment of ransom to kidnappers.
The Minister issued the warning while addressing the state house correspondents after the meeting of the federal executive council on Wednesday.
He said President Bola Tinubu, at a meeting on Tuesday with service chiefs, had directed security agencies to intensify efforts in flushing out the perpetrators of criminal acts in the society.
“Yesterday, we are aware Mr President called us and all the service chiefs to discuss this issue. So, concerted efforts are being made by security to stop it immediately.
“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 Northcentral.
“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.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate had passed the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022, into law and particularly amended Section 14.
The section says: “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.”
The minister urged Nigerians to avoid discussing security issues in the public or the media because of its implications for thwarting criminals by security agencies.
He said Nigerians should manage the kidnapping situation intelligently and quietly to achieve a productive resolution of the incidences.
On the Ibadan explosion on Tuesday, Mr Badaru said that a full investigation has commenced to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the tragic incident.