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Senate okays death penalty for drug traffickers


Senate has approved the death sentence as a penalty for drug traffickers in the country, as it passes through the third reading, the 2024 NDLEA Act (Amendment) Bill.

Channels TV reports that the proposal was adopted on Thursday when the Senate dissolved into a committee of the whole for a clause-by-clause consideration of a report of the Chairman of the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters and Drugs & Narcotics National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024, Senator Tahir Munguno.

In a review of the penalty provisions of the amendment bill towards strengthening the operations of the agency, a proposed amendment to award a death sentence to drug traffickers rather than just a life sentence was raised by the Senate Chief Whip and Sen. Peter Nwebonyi Under clause 11.

When the matter was put to a voice vote, it appeared the nays had it. However, when the question was put on a second vote, the Deputy Senate President ruled in favour of the is. A slight uproar ensued as some lawmakers were displeased.

Senator Adams Oshiomhole expressed his displeasure over what he considered a hasty consideration and passage of the amended clause.

The Deputy Senate President rejected an objection by Senator Oshiomhole to reverse the ruling, insisting that it came late which is against the rules.

The upper chamber also commenced the review of salaries, allowances and fringe benefits of judicial office holders in Nigeria in a bid to curb bribery and corruption and ensure independence of the judiciary.

The executive bill seeking to prescribe the salaries of the judicial office holders both at the federal and state levels scaled second reading on Thursday and is expected to nip in the bud, the prolonged stagnation in remuneration to reflect the current socio-economic realities.

Even though the bill was unanimously embraced, some lawmakers canvassed that in the face of the current economic hardship, salaries/ remuneration of Nigerians in other sectors be equally reviewed.

The bill was, thereafter, referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters to report back in four weeks.

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