Nigeria Senate Passes Bill for Death Penalty in Drug Trafficking Cases

Nigeria Senate Passes Bill for Death Penalty in Drug Trafficking Cases

A Critical Debate

by Chidera Perpetual


The Nigerian Senate recently passed a bill prescribing the death penalty for individuals found guilty of dealing in banned substances within the country. The resolution, adopted during the consideration of the report on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024, marks a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s legislative landscape.

Under the amended Section of the NDLEA Act, clause 11 specifies the scope of activities constituting involvement in the storage, custody, or trafficking of dangerous drugs. The replacement of the term ‘concerned’ with ‘involved’ aims to provide clarity and encompasses a broader range of actions related to the handling of controlled substances.

The impetus behind the amendment gained momentum when Senator Ali Ndume of Borno South passionately advocated for the replacement of “Life Imprisonment” with the “Death Penalty” for convicted offenders. Citing the necessity to eradicate drugs at its source, Senator Ndume’s motion garnered support from his peers and was subsequently approved through a voice vote

.Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking: Health For Justice, Justice For Health

However, not all senators were in unanimous agreement. Senators Adams Oshiomhole and Akpan Ekong Sampson raised objections, emphasizing the gravity of the decision and the need for thorough review. Despite their efforts, the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin, upheld the decision, underscoring the urgency of addressing the drug menace.


The passage of the NDLEA Amendment Act signifies a critical step forward in Nigeria’s battle against drug trafficking. With the signatures of 24 lawmakers and after intensive debate, the bill received its third reading, paving the way for stringent measures to combat the illicit drug trade.

As Nigeria navigates the complex terrain of drug enforcement policies, it becomes imperative to strike a balance between punitive measures and rehabilitative efforts. The discourse surrounding the NDLEA Amendment Act underscores the importance of comprehensive approaches in addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by drug trafficking.

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