- Nigeria’s House of Representatives has voted in favour of a bill prescribing a life imprisonment for those found guilty of kidnapping and hostage taking.
The proposed legislation, now on the second reading, provides that a person who makes attempt to kidnap anybody will be liable to 10 years imprisonment; while any person who receives money or property delivered as reward or ransom for any kidnap offence will be liable to a five-year jail term or an option of fine not exceeding naira 500,000 (about US$ 3,300).
Leading debate on the Bill, Friday Itulah, a former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, said kidnapping has done much damage to the Nigerian society, stating that the menace is threatening livelihoods of Nigerians.
Nigeria is ranked fourth in the world on the list of kidnapping nations after Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr Itulah said if conscious and proactive methods are not adopted to stem the worrisome development, Nigeria would soon become insecure for habitation and business purposes.
He suggested that sections 364 and 365 of the criminal code, Cap C38 of the laws of the Federation 2004 be repealed to make way for the proposed anti kidnapping Bill, which he said the Federal High Court shall have jurisdiction for trying offenders.
According to Mr Itulah there is hardly any day that passes without newspapers and television stations reporting cases of kidnapping, especially in the oil rich Niger Delta.
Local reports said some members had reservations on the proposed law, when deputy speaker, Usman Bayero Nafada put to question which finally led to the Bill to pass the second reading.
The Bill has been referred to the committees on justice, judiciary and police affairs for further action.
The new legislation proposed by the House of Representatives stipulates that “any person who seizes, confines, entices, decoys, abducts, conceals, kidnaps or carries away another person by any means whatsoever with intent to hold or detain; or who holds or detains that person for ransom, reward or to commit extortion or to exact from another person any money or valuable thing or any person who aids or abets any such act, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment”.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.