ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, ABUJA
Senate on Wednesday recommended capital punishment for anyone found guilty of kidnapping in the country.
Senate resolution was sequel to the report of Senate Committee on Police chaired by Senator Abu Ibrahim who also recommended adequate funding of security agencies in order to combat kidnapping appropriately.
The lawmaker informed the Red Chambers that over 180 people were kidnapped in 24 states as at October 2015.
During the debate on the report of the committee, the Senators adopted a prayer recommending a death sentence for abductors in the country.
The recommendation for death penalty, as adopted by the Senate, was made by Sen. Adamu Aliero(APC-Kebbi Central).
In his contribution to the report, the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio(Akwa Ibom-PDP), regretted that kidnapping escalated in Nigeria when ex-Governor and now Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige was kidnapped around 2002.
Other recommendations adopted by the Senate were that : “The funding of the security agencies should be taken as a priority project, bearing in mind that the practice of envelop budget for security agencies have proved ineffective.
“Efforts should be geared towards creating employment opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths and security agencies should embark on training and retraining of theor personnel for effective capacity building”.
The Senate also tasked “State governments to enact laws to enable security agencies to prosecute kidnappers and other crime related offences in their jurisdictions”.
It in addition, recommended that “synergy and intelligence sharing among security agencies should be vigorously pursued” and that “the Inspector General of Police and Director-General of the Department of State Security in particular and other security agencies should be encouraged to do more”.
The Senate stated that “It appears the security agencies have not been able to perform optimally due to inadequate funding to enable them procure modern technology and equipment” and observed that “it appears to be unnecessary and unhealthy rivalry amongst the security agencies leading to lack of required synergy and intelligence sharing on time”.
However, Senate regretted that “relations of the victims are always ready to pay ransom which tend to encourage the criminals”.
According to the report of the committee, the sum of N842,500,000, was reportedly demanded as ransom by kidnappers. Some victims’ family/employers purportedly paid a sum total of, N28 million.