Senate Passes Bill Introducing Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers Amid Controversy

The Senate has endorsed the death penalty for drug traffickers in the country as part of the 2024 NDLEA Act (Amendment) Bill, which passed its third reading.

During the session, the Senate convened into a committee of the whole to carefully examine the report presented by Senator Tahir Munguno, the Chairman of the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters, and Drugs & Narcotics, regarding the NDLEA Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

In a discussion focused on enhancing the agency’s effectiveness, the proposal to replace the existing life sentence for drug traffickers with a death sentence was raised under clause 11 by Senator Peter Nwebonyi, the Senate Chief Whip.

Initially, it seemed the opposition (“nays”) held the majority in a voice vote. However, upon a second vote, the Deputy Senate President ruled in favor of the supporters (“i’s”), sparking some discontent among certain lawmakers, notably Senator Adams Oshiomhole.

Senator Oshiomhole voiced his dissatisfaction with what he perceived as a rushed consideration and approval of the amended clause. Despite his objections, the Deputy Senate President stood by the ruling, citing procedural reasons for rejecting the late objection.

Furthermore, the Senate commenced a review of the salaries, allowances, and fringe benefits of judicial office holders in Nigeria. This initiative aims to combat bribery and corruption while safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

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