Legal Nigeria

Convicted Kidnappers to Forfeit Assets in Rivers as Wike Signs New Law

• State PDP hails Buhari on implementation of Unep report on Ogoni
Ernest Chinwo in  Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday assented to a new anti-kidnapping law passed by the state House of Assembly which stipulates that persons convicted of kidnapping would forfeit their assets to the state.
This is as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State commended President Muhammadu Buhari for fast-tracking the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the clean-up of Ogoni land
While signing the bill alongside two others, Wike declared that the new anti-kidnapping law would help in checking the rising wave of the crime in the state.
The bills signed into law include the Rivers State Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori (Amendment) Law, 2015; Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) Amendment Law, 2015 and Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No.4 of 2015.
He said with the law becoming operational, criminals convicted for kidnapping and accessories to kidnap would forfeit their assets, funds and proceeds from kidnap.
“I am happy to assent to this anti-kidnapping bill as it will help the security agencies in their fight against kidnappers and their sponsors,” he said.
On the Rivers State Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori ( Amendment) Law, 2015, Wike  said  the  renaming of the school  became  necessary  because of the contributions  of the late Saro-Wiwa  to the  development  of  the  state.
He also said the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No. 4 of 2015 was aimed at returning dignity and respect  to the traditional  institutions.
The governor said there was no reason why traditional institution in the state should be politicised.
He commended the State House of Assembly for always putting the interest of the state first in their consideration of bills.
Presenting  the  three bills to the governor for assent, Majority  Leader  of  the  Rivers State House of Assembly,  Mr Martins Amaehule,  said the three laws were vital to  the  good governance  of the state.
Speaker of the House,  Mr Ikunyi  Ibani,  assured the people of the state that the Assembly  would continue  to  work with  the  executive  for the development  of  the  state.
In a statement issued yesterday on behalf of the state Chairman of PDP, Felix Obuah, by his media aide, Jerry Needam, the party said it “Welcomes the announcement by the Presidency of fast-tracking the clean-up of Ogoniland as part of the recommendations contained in the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Report on the devastation pollution of Ogoniland by oil exploration activities of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and allied multinational corporations.
“The PDP commends President Buhari for not discontinuing a process started by previous administrations, which led to the commissioning of UNEP activities in Ogoni as well as setting up of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), particularly by the Jonathan’s administration, all of which were being gazette”, the statement said.
It said fast-tracking of the cleanup of Ogoniland as recommended in the UNEP report was important considering the deteriorating situation in the affected communities in the region, noting that the life of the people of Ogoni, who had contributed much to the sustenance of the country should be paramount and of much concern to any government at all times.
“The Party also views the amendment of the structures on the implementation of the exercise in Ogoniland as also relevant to the present time, believing that if the full details of the recommendation are carried out accordingly the government will further be commended for a job well done,” the statement said.
  While appealing to Buhari to match his words with action by committing himself to full implementation of the details of the UNEP report, the party urged all stakeholders and handlers of the project not to sabotage the good intention of the president in that regard but to ensure that proper work was done according to international specification