/ February 24, 2009

Kidnapping Now a Capital Offense in Nigeria

Until this month, kidnapping (with a gun) in the Nigerian state of Enugu carried a sentence of 10 years.  Now, it’s a capital offense.  The same is true in Abia State.  Additionally, the Assembly in Rivers State passed a bill giving kidnapping with a gun a life sentence.  (Click here to see a map of Nigeria.)

Kidnapping has become a daily occurrence in these states, and lawmakers hope that the harsh punishments will deter crime.  Plus, they want a “conducive environment for business and the economy of the state.”

According to Uduma Kalu in Awka, the author of “Political Terrorism in Nigeria,” said that the police are a part of the problem.  Additionally, he says, lawyers and judges are often kidnapped which makes the justice system less stable.

Source: Library of Congress

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