HomeNewsSenate Approves Death Penalty For Drug Traffickers

Senate Approves Death Penalty For Drug Traffickers

The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the death penalty for those convicted for drug trafficking in the country.

Before Thursday’s legislation, the punishment prescribed in the extant NDLEA Act is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The Senate’s resolution of followed its consideration of a report of the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Drugs and Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

Senator Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno North), Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters presented the report during plenary.

The Bill, whichpassed its third reading, aims to update the list of dangerous drugs, strengthen the operations of the NDLEA, review penalties, and empower the establishment of laboratories.

Section 11 of the current act prescribes: “Any person who, without lawful authority; imports, manufactures, produces, processes, plants or grows the drugs popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroin or any other similar drugs shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for life” was amended to reflect a stiffer penalty of death.

Although the report did not recommend a death penalty for the offence, during consideration, Senator Ali Ndume moved that the life sentence should be upgraded to the death penalty.

During a clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill, Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin, who presided over the session, put the amendment on the death penalty to a voice vote and ruled that the “ayes” had it.

However, Senator Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North) objected to the ruling, saying that the “nays” had it.

According to Oshiomhole, matters of life and death should not be treated hurriedly.

Contradicting Oshiomhole, Barau said the Edo legislator’s opposition came too late, having failed to call for division immediately after his ruling.

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