Oct 28, 2016 – The Rising Cases Of Kidnappings In Nigeria: Causes & Solutions By John Uzie
In criminal law, kidnapping is the abduction or unlawful transportation of a person against his or her will. This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute………..Wikipedia.
In Nigeria today, different forms of kidnappings do occur, such as ;
1. Kidnapping for ritual purposes.
2. Kidnapping of little children for illegal adoption.
3. Kidnapping of teenage girls for forced marriages.
4. Kidnapping of people in areas of armed conflicts.
5. Kidnapping of people for purpose of collecting ransom.
The focus of this article is on kidnapping people for ransom, which is becoming a near daily occurrence in different parts of Nigeria.
The first case of kidnapping for financial payments occurred between the year 1999 and 2000 when Niger Delta criminal gangs abducted expatriate oil workers and made demands for payment of huge ransom.
Since then, the criminal business of kidnapping people for ransom has become a nation wide occurrence.
Victims of kidnappers cut across the upper, middle, and lower classes of society. The modus operandi of the kidnappers is to abduct their victims from their homes, on the road, places of religious worship, schools, or places of work or business.
The victims are then kept in a hideout, and phone calls made to their relatives demanding payments of money before their loved ones regain freedom. Kidnappers have been reported to issue threats to kill their victims if relatives involves the police and other security agencies, and should they fail to pay what they are demanding.
Many families have to raise money for the kidnappers in order to secure the release of their loved ones. Some families have been unlucky, despite the payment of ransom, their loved ones ended up dead. The police and other security agencies have recorded numerous successes in freeing kidnapped victims, as well as arresting kidnappers.
Many states in Nigeria have laws in place to punish convicted kidnappers with either life sentence or death penalty. Some states have implemented executive orders to demolish houses used as hideouts by kidnappers.
The cases of kidnapping continue to rise despite the shame and punitive punishment for kidnappers when caught. An alarming revelation from several kidnap cases is the involvement of family members, close associates, and employees.
REASONS FOR THE RISING CASES OF KIDNAPPINGS IN NIGERIA
1. Ineffective prosecution of criminal cases ; failure to diligently prosecute criminal cases in the law courts emboldens criminals to carry on with their criminal activities.
2. Eroding moral values in the Nigerian society ; over the years moral values such as respect for others, hard work, honesty, integrity, law abiding, and respect for human life has become alien to many Nigerians. A group of young people with no guiding moral values will do anything for money.
3. High level of youth unemployment ; long periods of unemployment leads to frustration, hopelessness, and desperation.
4. Increasing rate of poverty among families ; financial hardships lead to unstable and broken homes, children from such homes may grow up without proper parental control.
5. Getting rich at all cost syndrome ; the Nigerian society today worships money, misguided youths who want to live a life of wealth, fame, and comfort with no visible source of income go into criminal activity such as kidnapping.
The crime of kidnapping people for ransom has become an issue of great concern to the government and citizens of Nigeria.
In dealing with the problem of kidnapping, the laws should be firm and swift in dealing with criminals.
The Nigerian society needs a moral rebirth, evil should be called out for what it is.
The Government at levels needs to implement programmes and policies that will address poverty and unemployment among the citizens.
Written by JOHN UZIE.