Treat Kidnappers Like Terrorists - Lawyer
Worried by the spate of kidnapping and other vices in the country, some lawyers in Abuja on Tuesday gave suggestions on how to address the crime.
The lawyers who spoke to NAN in separate interviews all condemned the development and ascribed the high rate of unemployment, poverty, ignorance and greed among others, as the causes.
Mrs Maureen Ajogo said kidnapping fell under insecurity and in addressing the crime, the government must place priority attention to it like it did to insurgency.
Specifically, the lawyer said that kidnapping suspects should be tried under the Terrorism Act with stiffer penalty to the guilty.
“Kidnapping is as criminal as terrorism and we have a Terrorism Act which should include all offences that threaten the security of the society.
“Government must tackle every act of insecurity aggressively and give priority to the wellbeing of its citizenry, not until someone of high profile is involved,’’ she said.
Ajogo said that with the torture meted to their victims and reported cases of some dead abductees, kidnappers should be liable to death to serve as deterrent.
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“Going by the experiences the victims go through in the hands of their abductors for those that are lucky to escape or be released, it is apparent that imprisonment is not enough punishment,” she said.
Another legal practitioner, Mr Ifeanyi Moses however countered that position saying that “except the act of kidnapping leads to death, the penalty shall not be death sentence”.
Moses argued that stiff penalty could not likely be a deterrent to committing crime in a society with hardship among the people.
“We have seen in the past where armed robbers were made to face the firing squad, but it has not been seen to be very effective in checking the crime,” he said.
He harped on the need for adequate job opportunities and empowerment of youths as well as provision of infrastructure and social amenities to stem crime.
Moses underscored the importance of transparency and accountability in governance in encouraging the citizens to shun crime and be law abiding.
The lawyer also advocated effective criminal justice system that will build the capacity of courts to try offenders with dispatch and transparency.