Senate makes drug trafficking capital offence, convicts to die by hanging

Nigeria Senate in plenary.


BRIGADIER-General Buba Marwa, an ex-military governor of Lagos State and the current chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) has succeeded to secure the nod of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, as the Senate on Thursday, May 9, 2024 passed the amended Bill on drug trafficking by making it an offence that now attracts death penalty for convicted offenders.

The resolution followed the Senate’s 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.

Recall that the punishment prescribed in the extant NDLEA Act is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

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”.

However, it was amended to reflect a stiffer penalty of death.

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

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

The nays had it — Oshiomhole

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 for traffickers to a voice vote and ruled that the “ayes” had it.

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

He said 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.

Re: Vanguard.

WORDS ON MARBLE: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier than he/she came. Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”.


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