Senate on Wednesday approved a stiffer penalty of Five Million or five years jail term or both for criminals who kidnap or abduct any person within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The approval which reflected in clause 103 of the Nigeria Police Act followed a suggestion to that effect by Senator Jibrin Barau representing Kano North Senatorial district.
Jibrin Barau reasoned that the trauma experienced by kidnap victims was nothing near any penalty meted against kidnappers by the law of the land, saying that the penalty was appropriate to serve as deterrents.
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I want to recommend or suggest five million penalty or five years imprisonment or both. ”
“You can imagine what a kidnap victim goes through and I tell you no remedy is appropriate. Let’s approve the suggestion please.”
Earlier in the debate, Senator Bala Ibn’Nallah cautioned lawmakers on the implications of stiffer monetary penalties.
He said, if a criminal who faced prosecution was unable to pay penalties, the next thing was for the Court to return him to prison, hence, Nigeria prisons would be filled.
Also, the appointment of the Inspector General of Police was statutorily fixed for a single term of five years irrespective of his years of retirement.
Moreso, criminals who obstruct
Police operations from arresting a criminal would not find it easy in the amended act.
Chairman of the Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Tijjani Kaura on Wednesday submitted the Committee report to the Senate plenary which recommended catalogue of reforms.
The amendment of the Police Act which was introduced by the Colonial masters and which came into force in 1943 was passed into law in the Senate in line with the much expected Police reforms.
In his remarks, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki was optimistic that the amendment would ensure effective policing in Nigeria.