Nigerian judge kidnapped inside court

A Nigerian judge was on Tuesday kidnapped from inside a court in the northern state of Katsina, local media reported.

The gunmen broke into Sharia Court in Bauren Zakat village in Safana Local Government Area at about 3pm on Tuesday and abducted the judge.

The judge has been identified as Alhaji Husaini Sama’ila.

Nigeria continues to grapple with a growing security criss, with Katsina State one of the states most affected by terrorism and banditry in Nigeria’s North-West region.

According to local media reports, it is unclear why the judge was inside the court at a time when judicial workers were observing a nationwide strike.

A police spokesperson informed Newsmen that the judge had not requested protection and “nobody was aware of his visit to the court”, reported BBC News.

Since December 2020, gangs of bandits seeking ransom have kidnapped nearly 800 students from their boarding schools and other educational facilities across northern Nigeria in at least five separate incidents.

At least US$18.34 million was paid to kidnappers as ransom – mostly by families and the government – between June 2011 and March 2020, according to a report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence, a Lagos-based political risk analysis firm, reported news broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, a bill to criminalise payment of ransom in Nigeria has passed second reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

Leading a debate on the bill on Wednesday, Senator Francis Onyewuchi said it seeks to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 with a new section which criminalises payment of ransom to kidnappers and terrorists with 15 years’ imprisonment.

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