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Senate Approves Death Sentence For Drug Offenders

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Breaking: Senate Approves Death Sentence For Drug Offenders

The Nigerian Senate has approved the death sentence for drug offenders in the country.

This is as the lawmakers on Thursday, passed the bill to amend the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act.

The resolution of the Senate 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.

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

The bill, which passed 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 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” 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.

But Senator Adams Oshiomhole objected to the ruling, saying that the “nays” had it.

He argued that matters of life and death should not be treated hurriedly, but Barau said it was too late, as he failed to call for division immediately after his ruling.

The bill was subsequently read for the third time and passed by the Senate.

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