GOVERNOR Abdullahi Ganduje has directed the Kano State ministry of justice to review its penal code with a view to enforcing the death penalty for any person found guilty of kidnapping across the state.
Kidnapping has now become big business in Nigeria with abductions for ransoms now a daily occurrence, leaving the Nigerian Police Force overwhelmed with what is now becoming an epidemic. With the proliferation of arms in Nigeria, the kidnappers are now operating nationwide, victims are abducted and sometimes transported thousands of kilometres to other parts of the country.
Speaking yesterday while inaugurating a 16-man commission of inquiry to investigate cases of missing persons in the state from 2010 to date, Governor Ganduje, said the penalty for kidnapping should be death. He added that the government found it necessary to take the measure in order to discourage others who might contemplate engaging in criminal and heinous crimes such as child kidnapping across the state.
Governor Ganduje said: “I have already directed the ministry of justice to amend the necessary penal code law to enforce death penalty on any person found guilty of kidnapping in the state.”
In addition, the governor also announced scholarships to nine rescued children in the state up to university level and donated N1m to each parent of the seven children who have so far been claimed by their families. He added that the gesture would go a long way in supporting the parents to ensure that the rescued children were reunited with their families and fully reintegrated into society.
Governor Ganduje, who congratulated the parents, commended the police, the media and all other stakeholders, who contributed to the recovery of the nine kidnapped children. He also thanked Kano people for understanding the fact that it was not a religious matter but a criminal issue that needed to be dealt with once and for all.
This commission of inquiry, under the chairmanship of Retired Justice Wada Umar-Rano, was urged by Governor Ganduje to carry out the assignment without fear or favour and with the utmost fear of Allah. The commission has been mandated to obtain all evidence, written or oral and to examine all witnesses as the commission might deem necessary.
It was also mandated to summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence or produce any document or other things in their possession and to require the evidence of any witness to be made on oath or declaration. Other terms of reference include to admit or exclude the public or any member of the public or press from any hearing of the commission.
In addition, the commission is to put together comprehensive data of missing persons in Kano State within the period and circumstances in which they disappeared among others. Governor Ganduje gave the commission 30 days within which to submit its report to the government.