Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Thursday, directed the state Ministry of Justice to immediately amend the Penal Code to death penalty for kidnappers.
Ganduje dropped the hint during the inauguration of the 16-man Commission of Inquiry on Kano nine children kidnapped and sold in Onitsha, Anambra State, headed by retired Justice Umar Wada Rano.
Ganduje also gave the Commission 30 days to complete and submit its assignment to the state government.
Ganduje also offered University scholarship and cash gift of N1 million each to their parents.
He condemned the act and described it as wicked and noted that what the kidnappers cum human traffickers did was against the tenets of Islam and Christianity.
The Governor requested the state Council of Ulamas to facilitate the re-orientation of the rescued children who were apparently robbed off their socio-cultural and religious background during their years in captivity.
Ganduje also used the occasion to inaugurate a 16-man Commission of Inquiry headed by retired Justice Wada Umar Rano to look into the remote and immediate circumstances surrounding the kidnap of Kano children since 2014.
Parts of the Terms of Reference given to the Commission include: “To conduct an inquiry into cases of missing persons in Kano State from the year 2010 to date and to procure all such evidence, written or oral, and to examine all such persons as witnesses as the commissioners may think it necessary or desirable to procure or examine.”
“To summon any person in Nigeria to attend any meeting of the commissioners to give evidence or produce any document or other thing in his possession and to require the evidence (whether written or oral) of any witness to be made on oath or declaration, such oath or declaration.
“To admit or exclude the public or any member of the public or press from any hearing of the commission, to prepare comprehensive data of missing persons in Kano State within the period and circumstances in which they disappeared.
“To find out both immediate and remote causes of cases of missing persons and to prepare and submit a written report including findings and recommendations to the Government of Kano State.”
The Commission is also expected to hear from the victims or their relatives, collect evidence both written and oral, visit sites (as the case may be), find both immediate and remote causes of the kidnap case and make recommendations to the Government for proper action, in order to eradicate such wicked act.
The Solicitor-General of Kano State, Bar. Amina Yusuf Yar Gaya, administered Oath to members of the Committee.
In his remarks during the occasion, chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Adeolu Samuel Adeyemo, who is a member of the Commission of Inquiry, wept as he condemned the act of kidnapping children disassociating Christians and CAN from such dastardly act.
He said: “As I sit here today, I see the gravity of sin committed by the perpetrators of this crime. I have seen the harm done to the parents because I am a parent.
“I was touched, very touched when we learnt about the rescue of these kidnapped children. It hooked my heart and my heart is still broken. This is a crime against humanity which is condemned by God.
“In the Bible, it is not permitted to separate a child from the mother until the age of 13. This is evil punishable in the sight of God. Those people who committed this crime are not Christians, and do not represent the tenets of Christianity.
“Kano is mini Nigeria and we want to thank Governor Ganduje for making Kano a home for all. Nobody kidnaps for Christ. CAN condemns this act and Christians all over the world condemn it”.
Also speaking, Eze Ndigbo in Kano, His Highness, Igwe Boniface Ibekwe, described the issue as worrisome and condemnable.
Igwe Boniface said: “Whatever is bad is bad. This is not only a taboo, it is a criminal matter that must be tackled. The Igbo community in Kano has not experienced this kind of thing.
“Not only that the children were kidnapped but they changed their religion. We want to thank Kano people for their understanding. We condemn it and our leaders in the East condemn it too.