The Nigerian Senate has on Wednesday passed a bill attaching punishable sentences to the payment of ransom following a report by the chairman of the committee on judiciary, Opeyemi Bamidele report on the increased rate of kidnapping in the country. 

Driving the news 
The lawmakers imposed a 15-year jail term for paying ransom and a death penalty where the victims die. 

  • The upper legislative chamber of the Nigerian chamber passed the bill to the lower House of Representatives for debate before sending the bill to the President to be signed into law. 

Current situation 
Bandits operating mostly in the northeastern and north-central states of Nigeria have terrorized residents leaving in the region for over a decade, targeting children, villagers, motorists and government officials and killing thousands of people. 

  • Between December 2020 and March 2021, bandits in five attempts kidnapped over 760 students from educational institutions in Northern Nigeria. 
  • According to SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence, in Nigeria, families of the victims of kidnapping paid $18.34 million to kidnappers in a 9years period as ransom. 

The Big Picture 
The bill’s sole aim, according to Opeyemi Bamidele, is to decrease the alarming rate of kidnapping in the country. 

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