I want to urge members of the National Assembly to start the debate for the legalisation of the death penalty for kidnappers in the country. This is the right thing to do at this moment considering the frightening dimension kidnapping is taking in the country.
I want to commend the Lagos State House of Assembly for passing the law to make kidnapping punishable by the death penalty. This will go a long way in bringing about a reduction in this crime. Nigeria has a peculiar issue on its hand as far as crime is concerned, and the earlier it is taken with all seriousness, the better. Nobody is safe in the country any longer, as anybody can be abducted any time. Just last week, it was reported that a gang of kidnappers was apprehended while it was still planning to abduct billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola. What is shocking in the whole scenario is the fact that a security officer was among the suspects, with the claim by the police that this security official was the one monitoring the movement of the billionaire. The gang had planned to obtain about $3million from their victim if the operation succeeded.
Today, we should realise that some people have now taken kidnapping to be their ‘business,’ looking for high-profile people in the society as targets. The abduction of several high-profile people in the society should serve as a pointer that if nothing is done now to tackle this menace, then the situation will degenerate further.
The recession in the land, the high rate of unemployment among the youth, and the quest to make money fast are among the factors fuelling this illegal act.
It is, therefore, necessary for the National Assembly to start the debate on punishing kidnappers by the death penalty. It is also hoped that the signing of the death warrant after a suspect is convicted will not be delayed so that convicts can quickly be punished for their crimes.
- Nugwa James,