Senate Approves Death Penalty For Drug Traffickers

The punishment stipulated in the existing NDLEA Act is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Senate Meeting
Senate Meetingthe punch.

On Thursday, May 9, the Senate approved the death sentence for those convicted of drug trafficking in the country.

The Senate's resolution came after it considered a report from the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and Drugs and Narcotics, titled National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act (Amendment) Bill 2024.

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

The bill, which passed its third reading, intends to update the list of hazardous substances, improve the NDLEA's activities, evaluate punishments, and allow for the establishment of laboratories

Section 11 of the current act which states that "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" has been amended to reflect a more severe punishment of death.

Although the report did not recommend the death penalty for the crime, Senator Ali Ndume proposed that the life sentence be enhanced to the death penalty.

During a clause-by-clause review of the Bill, Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin, who presided over the session, submitted the amendment on the death sentence to a voice vote and declared that the "ayes" had it.

However, Senator Adams Oshiomhole objected to to the decision, claiming that the "nays" had it.

He claimed that concerns of life and death should not be handled hastily, but Barau ruled it was too late because he failed to ask for division promptly following his ruling.

The bill was then read for a third time and approved by the Senate.

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