The troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have rescued 22 victims of Kidnap from armed bandits in the Northwest Region.
The victims comprising 11 women, 2 young girls, 8 traders along with a canter truck driver were rescued in the recent operations conducted in various locations across Katsina and Zamfara states.
In the process of rescuing the victims, three suspected bandits along with two of their collaborators and informants were equally arrested.
In a statement released on Friday by the Acting Director of the Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko noted that 2 AK-47 rifles along with an empty AK-47 rifle magazine as well as 8 Motorcycles abandoned by some fleeing bandits were recovered.
He announced that the troops have from September 12th to 17th 2020 stepped up their quest relentlessly redoubled their efforts towards recording more successes against bandits, their collaborators, and other criminal elements across the Theatre.
He said “On 12 September 2020, troops deployed at Dandume while on patrol rescued 2 young girls kidnapped by bandits at Dandume LGA in Katsina State. The girls were rescued after a hot pursuit by the troops which forced the bandits to abandon their victims escaping troops’ wrath by the skin of their teeth. The victims who were reportedly kidnapped on 18 August 2020 have been reunited with their families.
“In another development, on 13 September 2020, following credible information, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Wuya recovered one AK-47 Rifle buried in a sugarcane farm at Yarsabiya village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State.
“This prompted a further search of the general area in anticipation of more similar recoveries. Relatedly, troops deployed at Moriki and Jangeru responded to a distress call and foiled a planned armed bandits attack on Mai-Zuma village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State.
“The troops immediately mobilized and engaged the marauding bandits in a shoot out along Kayawa axis forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray and in the process abandoned 3 motorcycles which were recovered by the gallant troops.
“Similarly, on 16 September 2020, troops deployed at Magami acting on a tip-off arrested one Mr. Yaya Rabiu at Magami checkpoint. The suspect was identified by troops to be a member of a notorious bandit gang that recently attacked troops location at Ruwandawa-Kwankele village in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State.
“Additionally, troops at Dangulbi also acting on credible intelligence arrested a suspected bandit named Basharu in a green-tinted Golf III wagon car. The suspect has been on the wanted list of bandits terrorizing locals in the general area.
“Furthermore, on 16 September 2020, troops on routine patrol encountered armed bandits at Baga Buzu in Zamfara State. The cowardly criminals engaged the troops from afar, but the troops responded with superior firepower forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray into the nearby forest with gunshot injuries as traces of blood were seen on their escape route.
“Nevertheless, during exploitation, troops recovered one AK-47 Rifle, 2 motorcycles, and one empty AK 47 Rifle magazine abandoned by the escaping criminals. Similarly, troops on fighting patrol encountered and pursued the unconfirmed number of bandits on motorcycles at Kaiga Malamai. During the incident, the bandits abandoned 3 motorcycles and fled into the bushes.
“In another development, on 16 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari arrested a suspected bandits informant named Isah Indo while spying on troops location. The suspect claimed to be a native of Sabon Layi village in Faskari LGA, but investigation revealed that his claims were false as the villagers denied knowing him. Similarly, following credible information, troops deployed at Yankara arrested a suspected bandits collaborator named Idris Isah from Yampa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State, who is reported to be engaged in illicit activities with bandits.
“Additionally, on 17 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari responding to a distress call rescued 8 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area. This was as a result of actionable information that bandits dressed in military camouflage uniforms were sighted with kidnapped victims, the troops responded quickly and made contact with the bandits forcing them to abandon the victims as they fled into the bushes. In the same vein, troops while on patrol at Chabas swiftly responded to a distress call and rescued a Canter truck driver, 11 women, and children who were on their way to Batsari Market but were blocked by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi road.
“Also on 17 September 2020 troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Ibrahim on a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village in Dansadau, Maru LGA of Zamfara state with one Pump Action rifle and 3 live cartridges carefully concealed in a bag.
“All arrested suspects are in custody understanding preliminary investigation and will soon be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authorities for further action.
“Consequently, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for their continuous successes and their commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until Northwest zone is rid of all criminal elements.
“While the good people of the Northwest are once again assured of troops’ commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the conduct of their operations”. Onyeuko said.
The Nigerian Army has extended its operation to curb the activities of bandits, cattle rustlers, gunrunners, and other criminals in the North-West with a promise to go tough on the outlaws.
Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Nigerian Army announced this on Saturday in Faskari, Katsina State while speaking to journalists from the state and neighbouring Zamfara.
“Be rest assured that the troops are determined to deal decisively with any criminal element not only in the Northwest but also across the country,” he said.
‘Operation Sahel Sanity’, launched amid an upsurge in crime particularly the activities of bandits, rustlers, kidnappers, and gunrunners, will now continue until December.
The army boss, however, believes determination on the part of the army alone will not be enough to stop the criminal activities which have resulted in the loss of scores of lives in the region and sparked outrage over time.
To him, it would take more support from the people of the region who he said had already provided tremendous support for the army – leading to the killing of hundreds of bandits and arrest of hundreds more including their allies.
“I already said it that these people don’t come from the skies they are within us and most of the arrests that have been made in the towns and villages, they have relations in those communities and they visit them,” he said.
“As soon as we stop shielding these criminals, the sooner we will get the insecurity resolved in all our societies. We have so far improved on our intelligence gathering.”
In order to expose such criminals, Buratai expects people to disregard their relationship with them “no matter how tight and close” the relationship may be.
“Otherwise these criminals will one day turn against them,” he warned.
Since the army launched Operation Sahel Sanity it has announced successes several times and the army boss is impressed with the progress made so far.
His visit to Katsina is to access the progress of the operation, especially in Katsina and Zamfara states where the Special Army Super Camp is located, from where the operation is coordinated.
“I am impressed with the brief I had this afternoon with the level of commitment, dedication, and loyalty of the troops,” he said.
Under the operation, the army boss added, “The troops have shown courage and determination to resolve the security challenge that has bedevilled the region.
“They tamed to the barest minimum, the issues of kidnapping, cattle Rustling, armed banditry, and gunrunning across the border among others.”
He, however, does not want the army to slow down and decided to extend the operation to ensure that “the desired result is achieved”.
Apart from acknowledging the troops and the people of the region for their support so far, Buratai praised members of the press in Katsina and Zamfara states.
“Their reportage, commentaries, and general assessment have been quite encouraging,” he said.
On Saturday, September 5, 2020, that army announced that troops of Operation Sahel Sanity had over two months killed 100 armed bandits, arrested 148 of them, and recovered about 4,000 cattle.
In addition to that, a total of 3,984 cows, 1,627 sheep/rams, and three camels were recovered while 148 suspected bandits were arrested along with 315 illegal armed miners.
Police authorities in Yobe State say they have received the bodies of three suspected kidnappers killed by vigilante groups during an ambush.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Yobe, Dungus Abdulkarim, who confirmed the incident told Channels Television that the suspects were killed on Sunday morning.
He stated that while information on the attack was unclear at the time of this report, the police command was making efforts to get full details.
Abdulkarim said, “It was this morning (Sunday) we received information about an attack on a community under Murfa Kalam village where three suspected kidnappers were killed following an ambush by a vigilante group.
“Presently, the corpses have been deposited at a morgue in the Specialist Hospital in Damaturu while investigations are ongoing.”
According to local sources, a group of armed men believed to be kidnappers had stormed Dungurum community in Murfa Kalam village.
During the attack on the community in Damaturu Local Government Area of the state, the assailants reportedly kidnapped one person.
On getting the information, the vigilante group in the area laid an ambush on the attackers, killing three of them in the process while others escaped.
Another source told Channels Television that three other suspects were arrested and have been handed over to the Nigerian Army.
However, the military authorities have yet to make any comment on the matter.
The Police in Kaduna State have arrested 217 suspected bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements that have been terrorising people in various parts of the state.
The command also says that despite the recent attacks by gunmen in Kaura and Zango Kataf Local Government Areas of Kaduna, the security situation in the state has been relatively stabilised.
The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, who stated this when he paraded the suspects before journalists at the state command headquarters on Wednesday, also disclosed that no fewer than 500 conventional and Mobile policemen have been deployed to Zango Kataf and Kaura Local Government Areas to tighten security in the areas and prevent any further attacks.
He also said that 43 Ak-47 rifles and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects, in addition to the recovery of stolen vehicles, motorcycles, and fake currencies.
On Tuesday, the presidency reacted to the killings in the state, saying that it is more complicated than many people are willing to admit.
In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that the problem in southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.
He added that the region enjoys comprehensive security deployments, including the army, special forces of both the army and the Air Force, surveillance aircraft by the Air Force and mobile police units that are on the ground on a 24-hour basis to forestall criminality and keep the peace.
“Unlike other parts of the country, the problem of Southern Kaduna is more complicated than many critics are ready to acknowledge and understand.
“From available security records, the problem in Southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.
“It is a situation in which one criminal group will kill a member of another criminal group out of ethnic and religious motivations which in turn leads to the eruption of revenge and counter-revenge, thereby making the job of the security personnel deployed to protect lives more difficult,” the statement read in part.
The presidency, therefore, warned residents against taking laws into their own hands, adding that it makes the job of security personnel more difficult.
At least 11 people were reported killed by gunmen in an attack in Gora Gan Village of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Monday evening
The attack came barely 24 hours after 21 people were killed by bandits at Kukum Daji village in neighbouring Kaura Local Government Area.
The Senate has amended the Criminal Code Act which recommends life imprisonment for kidnappers and deletes the statute of limitations on cases of rape.
Section 218 of the Criminal Code Act (amended) removing the statute of limitations implies that the defilement cases can remain open for as long as possible against the earlier limitation of two months.
The Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.02) was sponsored by Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central Senatorial District) on September 24, 2019.
The Senate on Tuesday also eliminated the gender restrictions in the offence of rape as Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act defines rape as an offence against women.
It acknowledged that the male gender can also be victims.
Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matter, Opeyemi Bamidele in his presentation, explained that the aim of criminal law and criminal justice system is not only for punishment but also for deterrence, retribution, restoration and rehabilitation of offenders.
“And where the law fails to achieve any of these objectives, it becomes inherently defective, hence the need for the amendment/review of such law(s) to bring them into conformity with best practices.
“This amendment is a response to these anomalies and is also within the legislative powers of the National Assembly, to make laws that are responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people and to also amend obsolete laws that will enhance effective justice system and ensure good governance.
“Therefore, the amendment to the Criminal Code Act that is being proposed, is a welcome development to our criminal justice system”.
Senator Bamidele further noted that the proposition to delete statute of limitation on the prosecution of offences under section 218 and 221 of the Criminal Code Act, is a welcome development as the statute of limitation, placed on defilement and rape, negates the principles of natural law, equity and good conscience.
“There is no gainsaying the fact anyone who has carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen (13) or a girl being of or above the age of thirteen (13) and under the age of sixteen (16) or attempts to commit same offences, may not be punished, as the prosecution of such offence is barred after the expiration of two (2) months from the commission of the offence by virtue of the statute of limitation.
“Finally, they submitted that the frequency of kidnapping across the Federation and the resultant trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, makes it imperative to review our laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators as well as serve as deterrence to would-be perpetrators.
“Thus, the passage of this Bill would proffer a life sentence for persons found guilty of kidnapping as against the provisions of section 364 of the Act, which proffer the punishment of imprisonment for a term of ten (10) years, where the offence of kidnapping is established”.
He added that Nigerians at the public hearing expressed divergent views as regards the proposed amendments in the bill.
Read Details Of The Bill Below:
REPORT OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND LEGAL MATTERS ON A BILL FOR AN ACT TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE ACT CAP. C.38 LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2004 TO DELETE THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION ON DEFILEMENT, INCREASE PUNISHMENT FOR THE OFFENCE OF KIDNAPPING, REMOVE GENDER RESTRICTIONS IN THE OFFENCE OF RAPE; AND FOR RELATED MATTERS.
The Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.02) was sponsored by Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central Senatorial District). The Bill was read for the First Time on Tuesday, 24th September 2019. On Tuesday, 26th November 2019, the Senate deliberated on the general principles of the Bill. After extensive debates, it was read the Second Time and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, for further legislative action, (vide Order of Referral dated Tuesday 26th November, 2019), to report back with its recommendations.
2.0 METHOD OF WORK
After the referral, the Committee held a series of meetings and agreed on the following legislative framework:
(a) to consult widely and seek views of stakeholders on the justifications for the passage of the Bill; and (b) to resort to any other matter incidental thereto, which would assist the Committee in the discharge of its assignment.
3.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE BILL
Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, the objectives of the Bill, among others, are: to delete the statute of limitation on defilement in Sections 218 and 221 of the Criminal Code Act Cap. C.38 LFN, 2004 and amend the definition of rape in Section 357, and provide stringent punishment for the offence of kidnapping in section 364 of the Criminal Code Act.
4.0 LEGISLATIVE ACTION
In furtherance of this assignment, the Committee relied on the legislative framework, earlier agreed upon as the way forward. Accordingly, in addition to the wide consultations that were made with relevant stakeholders in order to elicit their inputs on the proposed legislation, the Committee also considered divergent views expressed by Distinguished Senators on the merits of the Bill during the Second Reading stage.
Mr President, Distinguished Colleagues, I wish to state here for the avoidance of doubt that, from views expressed on the Bill, there were opposing arguments on the passage of the Bill by the National Assembly. It will interest Distinguished Senators to note that the Committee subjected all the views canvassed for and against the passage of the Bill, taking into account, extant Laws on the subject matter. Below, are the highlights of the views expressed by stakeholders on the proposed legislation.
4.1 Highlights of Views
Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, let me commend once again, the Sponsor of the Bill for this laudable piece of legislative proposal. It is apposite to state that an effective criminal justice system, is fundamental to the maintenance of law and order and since criminal justice addresses behavioural issues, it must be dynamic and proactive.
The aim of criminal law and the criminal justice system is not only for punishment but also for deterrence, retribution, restoration and rehabilitation of offenders. And where the law fails to achieve any of these objectives, it becomes inherently defective, hence the need for the amendment/review of such law(s) to bring them into conformity with best practices. This amendment is a response to these anomalies and is also within the legislative powers of the National Assembly, to make laws that are responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people and to also amend obsolete laws that will enhance effective justice system and ensure good governance. Therefore, the amendment to the Criminal Code Act that is being proposed, is a welcome development to our criminal justice system.
Firstly, it should be noted that the proposition to delete statute of limitation on the prosecution of offences under section 218 and 221 of the Criminal Code Act, is a welcome development as the statute of limitation, placed on defilement and rape, negates the principles of natural law, equity and good conscience. There is no gainsaying the fact anyone who has carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen (13) or a girl being of or above the age of thirteen (13) and under the age of sixteen (16) or attempts to commit same offences, may not be punished, as prosecution of such offence is barred after the expiration of two (2) months from the commission of the offence by virtue of statute of limitation.
Secondly, the stakeholders contended that the use of the words “idiot or imbecile” in Section 221 of the Act, has pejorative connotations, which have become derogatory and obsolete. As such, their usage should no longer exist in our laws, hence the need for this amendment. This is also a welcome development and a modern trend in legislative drafting and best practice world over.
Furthermore, section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, defines rape as an offence against women. However, in recent times, there are incidences of non-consensual sex, perpetrated against the male gender. Therefore, the passage of this Bill will ensure that our laws and jurisprudence evolve in tandem with the rest of the world.
Finally, they submitted that the frequency of kidnapping across the Federation and the resultant trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, makes it imperative to review our laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators as well as serve as deterrence to would-be perpetrators. Thus, the passage of this Bill would proffer a life sentence for persons found guilty of kidnapping as against the provisions of section 364 of the Act, which proffer the punishment of imprisonment for a term of ten (10) years, where the offence of kidnapping is established.
Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, at this juncture, we wish to state that a cross-section of stakeholders opposed the passage of the Bill, based on the substantive and procedural laws on the subject matter, hence, they submitted as follows:
Firstly, they stated that the statute of limitation, regarding the prosecution of the offence of defilement that must commence within two (2) months from the date the offence was committed, which is the absurdity that this Bill seeks to address, has been cured by virtue of section 45 (1) and (2) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015, as such, the amendment should be discountenanced. For the avoidance of doubt, the section provides as follows:
“(1) Any offence committed or proceedings instituted before the commencement of this Act under the provisions of the – (a) Criminal Code, Cap. LFN, 2004 (b) Penal Code, LFN, 2004 (c) Criminal Procedure Code, Cap. LFN, 2004 (d) Any other law or regulation relating to any act of violence defined by this Act shall as the case may require to be enforced or continue to be enforced by the provisions of this Act. (2) Any provision of the Act shall supersede any other provision on similar offences in the Criminal Code, Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code”.
Secondly, it was contended that since the Violence Against Persons Act, 2015, has addressed the gender neutrality issue on rape or defilement, as there is no longer distinction regarding the classification of all acts of sexual penetration of persons, such as rape or defilement in this Act, it is needless to amend the Criminal Code Act in that regard. Thus, section 1 (1) (a) of the Act, states as follows:
“1. (1) A person commits the offence of rape if – (a) he or she intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his or her body or anything else”
From the standpoint of this provision, they argued that it is clear, gender neutrality introduced in the definition of rape in this Bill, has already been addressed, as such, the Criminal Code Act should not be amended.
Thirdly, they argued that the passage of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, has, in no small measure, helped in the administration of justice generally in the Federal Capital Territory and Federal Courts, across the country, which is the uniform procedural law that applies in these Courts. Therefore, stakeholders unanimously emphasised the urgent need to comprehensively and holistically review all obsolete existing criminal laws, including the Criminal Code Act and the Penal Code Act to pave way for uniformity and suitability in our country instead of embarking on a piecemeal amendment, as is being sought by this Bill; and
Finally, it was posited that in as much as the National Assembly has the power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation, it does not have the constitutional competence to legislate on crimes that do not fall within the contemplation of the Exclusive Legislative List. Hence, the National Assembly cannot amend the Criminal Code and Penal Code for the States.
Flowing from the analysis of submissions made by the stakeholders on the Bill and based on our subsequent consideration of the Bill in our mark–up session, the Committee hereby makes the following observations and findings:
1. That the introduction of the Bill is laudable and commendable as its passage into law, will address the lingering issues of status of limitation in the prosecution of rape/defilement cases and the incessant kidnapping menace, which are on the rise, in recent times;
2. That even though the statute of limitation has been deliberately omitted from the VAPP Act, 2015, which is the prevailing law on the subject matter, intended to give room for the prosecution of offences of this nature, it is not of general application. As such, this proposed amendment is a welcome development;
3. That by virtue of Section 315 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, dealing with savings and transitional provision, the National Assembly has the legislative competence to amend the Criminal Code Act as an Act of the National Assembly by its virtue of being in existing law;
4. That the National Assembly can amend the Criminal Code Act in line with the aforesaid provision, which gives it power to take over all existing laws, made prior to its existence, and subject such laws to necessary modifications in order to bring them into conformity with the Constitution;
5. That contrary to views canvassed by those opposing the passage of the Bill by the National Assembly, on the ground that its passage will usurp the powers of the States to legislate on the subject matter, it should be stated for the avoidance of doubt, that the proposed Bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code Act of 1916 and not Criminal Code Law of the States; and
6. That the Bill, when enacted, will be applied by the Federal High Court, in the southern part of the country, where the Criminal Code Act, is applicable and operational.
The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to which this Bill, was referred, having considered same, recommends as follows:
“That the Senate does pass the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2020”.
WE SO MOVE.
On behalf of members of the Committee, I wish to express our gratitude for this opportunity to serve you, our colleagues and our nation, Nigeria.
Awelewa further explained that he and his wife were later released by the kidnappers who instructed them to look for money to pay the ransom for the release of their five children or else they will be killed.
His wife who is still in shock over the incident appealed to the government to assist them to secure the release of their children.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Commissioner for internal security as well the Commissioner of Police has visited the family of the victims to commiserate with the family and also to get first-hand information about how the incident happened.
The Police commissioner while assuring the residents that everything is being done to tackle the problem of banditry and kidnapping in Chikun local government, also urged them to always provide the security agencies with useful information that will lead to the arrest of criminal elements in the area.
The Benue State Director of Treasury, Mr Geoffrey Agada, who was kidnapped by a five-man syndicate from his home in Makurdi on Thursday has been rescued by the police.
The kidnappers had made a demand of N50 million as ransom before the victim would be released.
Presenting the victim to Governor Samuel Ortom at the government house on Sunday, the state commissioner of police, Mr Mohammed Mukadass said, Mr Agada was rescued after a gun battle with the kidnappers, leading to some arrest and the recovery of one AK47 rifle.
“About three days ago, Mr Agada was kidnapped by gunmen at around 5pm. We have been working round the clock to see how we can rescue him unhurt and alive; they made a demand of about N50 million but we played with time and worked on credible intelligence and we had an encounter with them and Mr Agada has been rescued.
“No ransom was paid, and we are still investigating and looking for more of the suspects,” he added.
Four suspected notorious kidnappers have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Adamawa State.
Parading the suspects before newsmen, Commandant of the NSCDC, Nurudeen Abdullahi, said they were arrested in Mubi by men of his Command following a tip-off.
According to him, the suspects were arrested in a sting operation by his personnel in collaboration with Pulako Tabitha, a Fulani vigilante outfit in Mubi, Adamawa State.
“After a tip-off, we were able to nab these people on Friday, January 17, 2020. The suspects are Ibrahim Usman, Musa Audu, and Saidu Dahiru.
“All the suspects confessed to have carried out several kidnapping activities. The suspects are now under our investigations department for further interrogation, after which their case will be forwarded to the office of the Director, Public prosecution for advice and legal action,” he added.
Men of the Katsina State Police Command have killed two suspected members of a kidnap syndicate in the state.
During the operation, the security operatives arrested another suspected member of the criminal gang while one of their victims was rescued.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Sanusi Buba, disclosed this to reporters while parading the arrested suspect and the bodies of those killed at the Command Headquarters in Katsina.
He added that operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) carried out the operation when they stormed the hideout of the suspects at Yar-Talata village in Malumfashi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Buba noted that the team, acting on credible intelligence, stormed the camp of a notorious kidnap kingpin where the rescued victim was held hostage.
He, therefore, called on the people of the state to support and cooperate with the Command in the ongoing fight against all forms of crime in the state.
The feat was recorded barely 19 days after the police commissioner presented a 10-month report, highlighting the achievements made by the command within the period under review.
He promised the residents that the year 2020 would witness a paradigm shift in a collective approach, especially against the disturbing trend of banditry and kidnapping in the eight front-line LGAs of the state.
Operatives of the Kaduna state police command have arrested two suspected abductors of six students and two teachers of Engravers College in Chikun local government area of the state.
The victims were abducted from their school on October 3 and released on October the 26.
However, after almost two months of manhunt of the kidnappers, the Kaduna state police command said it apprehended two members of the gang during an operation in their hideout in the state capital.
The command also arrested 37 other suspected kidnappers and armed robbers including a five-man kidnap gang that killed their victims after collecting over two million Naira ransom in Kangimi village of Igabi Local Government Area.
Addressing journalists during the parade of the suspects at the Kaduna state police command headquarters, spokesman of the command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, explained that a security guard of the Engraver’s College was also arrested for alleged conspiracy in the abduction of the students.
He further explained that the arrests were successfully carried out through coordinated raiding of criminal hideouts by Operatives of the IGP’s Special Tactical Squad (STS) and the Command’s Intelligence Response Team as well as active Community Engagement Initiative in line with the Inspector General of Police mandate on Community Policing.
The command also arrested suspects that escaped from Taraba state to hide in Kaduna state after carrying out several kidnapping operations in the northeastern state
He further disclosed that several dangerous weapons including 10 AK47 Rifles, four pump actions, two locally made pistols, one locally-made gun, 154 live ammunitions, 17 cartridges, four stolen vehicles and other exhibits were recovered from the suspects during the operations.
Sabo also added that some of the suspects have confessed to a series of kidnappings within and outside the state including the killing of a Policeman in Igabi local government.
While he admitted that the Kaduna State Police Command like other Commands across the country has some peculiar security challenges amongst which are; banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes against law-abiding citizens of the state, the spokesman however, stated that the command has succeeded in reducing such crimes on major highways, urban areas and villages to a large extent.
The Senate has begun an amendment of the Criminal Code Act, 2004, after considering a bill to that effect.
The bill sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central) during Tuesday’s plenary in Abuja seeks the removal of gender restrictions on rape offences and a proposal of stiffer penalties for kidnapping.
The proposed amendment by the upper chamber of the National Assembly also seeks to delete the statute of limitation in cases of defilement.
In her lead debate on the bill, Senator Tinubu objected to the provision of Section 218 of the Criminal Code which stated, “Anyone who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 13 or attempts same is guilty of a felony and liable to life imprisonment or 14 years imprisonment, respectively.”
According to her, the prosecution of an offender under the section constitutes a limitation that should be extended as against the Act’s provision which allows for only two months after the offence is committed.
“This is untenable in a country where investigations often take longer than two months,” the lawmaker was quoted as saying in a statement by Ezrel Tabiowo, a special assistant to the Senate President.
She added, “Considering the shortage of police personnel, relative to our population as prescribed by international standards, the two months limitation is unlikely to be met at all.”
“With the development and innovation in forensic technology and the accessibility or otherwise of such infrastructure in Nigeria, rushed investigations with a view to commencing prosecutions within a two-month period leave a possibility of a huge margin for error.”
The amendment bill also seeks an amendment to Section 221 of the Criminal Code.
The section provides that “Where a person has or attempts carnal knowledge of a girl being of or above the age of 13 and under the age 16, an ‘idiot or imbecile’, he shall be liable to imprisonment for a period of two years provided that the prosecution is commenced within two months after the offence is committed.”
The bill also proposes an amendment to Section 221, to substitute for the words ‘idiot or imbecile’, the words ‘mentally challenged’.
Senator Tinubu believes while words like idiot, moron, and imbecile are professionally used to measure Intelligence Quotient (IQ), they have acquired pejorative connotations, become derogatory and obsolete and should no longer be contained in the nation’s laws.
On rape, she noted said the Criminal Code Act, 2004, defined rape in Section 357 as an offence against women.
The lawmaker described the definition as “grievous,” saying it perpetrated the socio-cultural belief that men do not need to consent to sexual acts.
She, therefore, stressed that there were incidents of non-consensual sex perpetrated against the male gender.
Meanwhile, Section 364 of the Criminal Code under amendment proffers punishment of imprisonment for a term of 10 years where a crime of kidnap is established.
The law under the Act defines kidnap as “unlawful imprisonment of any person to prevent him from applying to a court for his release or from disclosing to any person where he is imprisoned.”
Senator Tinubu compared the penalties for kidnapping to that of robbery – which is 21 years and death – as provided by the Criminal Code Act.
“Why is the punishment for stealing property and replaceable things higher than what is obtainable when you steal a human being?” she queried.
The lawmaker added, “The frequency of kidnap across the Federation and its resulting trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, makes it imperative to review our laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators and deterrence for would-be perpetrators.”
After the bill was debated, Senate President Ahmed Lawan referred it to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters for further legislative work.