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Nigerian Senate Passes Bill Making Drug Trafficking Punishable by the Death Penalty

The amendment, which is not yet law, replaces life imprisonment, which was previously the harshest punishment for manufacturing, trafficking, dealing in, or delivery of narcotic drugs

Nigerian Senators on Thursday passed an amendment to the country’s penal code for drug trafficking offences, making the death penalty the new maximum sentence for such crimes.

The amendment, which is not yet law, replaces life imprisonment, which was previously the harshest punishment for manufacturing, trafficking, dealing in, or delivery of narcotic drugs.

The new amendment, according to legislators will tighten efforts by the country’s national drug enforcement agency to contain the widespread abuse of opioids, especially tramadol and codeine cough syrups.

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“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 anyway,” said Senate Whip, Ali Ndume, who made the proposals for the change in the law.

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A majority of the senators voted in support of the bill, when it was put to vote, although some legislators opposed the proposition.

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