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Nigeria's Senate proposes death penalty for drug trafficking

Nigeria's Senate proposes death penalty for drug trafficking
Detainee stands inside their cells at the jailhouse in Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday June 4, 2014.   -  
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Jerome Delay /AP


Nigeria's Senate on Thursday, May 9 proposed tougher penalties for drug trafficking, suggesting death penalty as the new maximum punishment.

This replaces life imprisonment, previously the harshest penalty. Nigeria, with over 200 million people, has shifted from a transit point to a major producer, consumer, and distributor of illegal drugs.

Opioid abuse, notably tramadol, and codeine-containing cough syrups is widespread. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control banned codeine syrup in 2018.

While cannabis is locally grown, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs are trafficked, exacerbating addiction. The proposal, stemming from a Senate report, aims to deter traffickers with the threat of execution.

However, some lawmakers are concerned about the death penalty's irreversible nature and potential for wrongful convictions.

The bill, previously passed by the House of Representatives without the death penalty provision, requires reconciliation between Senate and House versions before reaching the president.

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