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Senate okays d3ath penalty for drug traffickers

The Senate, on Thursday, approved the d3ath penalty for dealers and importers of cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs into the country.

 Senate okays d3ath penalty for drug traffickers

The proposed capital punishment also applies to manufacturing, trafficking, dealing in or delivery of hard drugs by any means.

The Senate arrived at the resolution on the floor of the red chamber after deliberations on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

The maximum punishment in the extant law for offenders is life imprisonment.

During the consideration of the report on the bill for passage on Thursday, Senate Whip, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), recommended that the punishment of life imprisonment be “toughened” and upgraded to the death penalty.

The penalty for drug importation or dealership is captured in Section 11 of the extant law, which Ndume sought to be increased to a death sentence.

He said, “This (life imprisonment) should be changed to a death sentence. This is the standard worldwide. We have to do this to address this problem of drugs that has seriously affected our youths.

“It should be toughened beyond life imprisonment. It should be the death sentence, either by hanging or any way.”

But this proposal did not sit well with some of his colleagues, including former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who took to the floor to voice out his reservations.

Oshiomhole, who was visibly agitated, told his colleagues that he would rarely joke with any matter concerning life and death.

“When a matter has to do with life and death, we should be accountable. Let’s divide the Senate. This is lawmaking. We are not here to take voice votes,” Oshiomhole said.

His position was, however, overruled by the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin, who presided over the plenary session.

Similarly, Senator Sampson Ekong from Akwa Ibom State kicked against the resolution of the Senate but he was also overruled.

The Senate went ahead to pass the bill for a third reading.

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