The Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Thursday in Kano directed the state Ministry of Justice to, as a matter of urgency, amend the State’s Penal Code, to include death penalty for kidnappers.
He said this in his remarks at the inauguration of a 16-man Commission of Inquiry into the kidnap of nine children from Kano and their alleged eventual sale into slavery in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Ganduje, appointed retired Justice Umar Wada Rano, as chairman of the commission and gave the commission 30 days to complete and submit its report to the state government.
While condemning the kidnap of the children, Ganduje said what the kidnappers cum human traffickers did was against the tenets of Islam and Christianity.
In addition, Ganduje requested the State Council of Ulamas, to facilitate the reorientation of the rescued children, who were apparently robbed of their socio-cultural and religious background during their years of captivity.
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 things 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.”
During the occasion, Adeolu Adeyemo, chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, who is a member of the commission, wept as he disassociated Christians and CAN from the dastardly act.
He said, “As I sit here today, I see the gravity of the sin committed by the perpetrators of this crime. I have seen the harm done to the parents because I’m a parent.
“I was touched, very touched when we learnt about the rescue of these kidnapped children. It broke 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 an 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 a mini-Nigeria and we want to thank Governor Ganduje for making Kano a home for all. Nobody kidnaps for Christ. CAN condemn this act and Christians all over the world condemn it.”
“Whatever is bad is bad. This is not only a taboo, but it is also a criminal matter that must be tackled. The Igbo community in Kano has not experienced this kind of thing,” he said.