Senate Authorizes Death Penalty for Drug Trafficking Offenders

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The Senate has approved a change in the penalty for individuals convicted of drug trafficking within the country to include the capital punishment of death penalty.

Prior to the ammendment, the NDLEA Act mandated a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for such offenses.

The decision came after the Senate deliberated on a report from the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, as well as Drugs and Narcotics, specifically focusing on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024. The report was presented by Senator Mohammed Monguno during a plenary session.

The purpose of the bill, now passed for the third time, is to modernize the list of dangerous drugs, enhance NDLEA operations, review penalties, and facilitate the establishment of laboratories.


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One significant amendment is to Section 11 of the current act, which previously mandated life imprisonment for drug offenses involving substances like cocaine, LSD, and heroin. The amended version now stipulates the death penalty for such crimes.

Notably, the initial report did not propose the death penalty; however, Senator Ali Ndume suggested the upgrade from life imprisonment to the death penalty during deliberations.

Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin presided over the clause-by-clause considerations, where the amendment for the death penalty was put to a voice vote, with the majority voting in favor.

Despite objections from Senator Adams Oshiomhole, who argued against rushing such crucial decisions, Barau upheld the decision due to the lack of immediate opposition after his ruling.

As a result, the bill, with the amended penalty, was read for the third time and successfully passed by the Senate.


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