Capital punishment to drug offenders may not reduce level of crime – UNODC warns

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to give capital punishment to drug trafficking offenders may add little or nothing to reducing the crime.

Country Representative, UNODC, Oliver Stolpe, gave the verdict at a two-day media personnel training on anti-corruption, police accountability, wildlife crime, and sensitization on drugs prevention, treatment, and care (DPTC), organized by the UNODC, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and other partners, on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “The deterrent effect of the death penalty has never been convincingly proven. There is no proof of the effectiveness of the death penalty.

“Our stance as the UN is clear on the death penalty; we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense.”

Stolpe insisted that the UN has always advocated for a clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use, which it considers primarily to be a health issue, and that should be dealt with as such.

He added, “Addiction is a health condition; it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, he observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago (2018) and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He noted, “The drug use survey of 2018 remains, as far as I can tell, the most cited study in the media. This data is outdated, and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is, really, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?”

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Speaking on the importance of the training, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Buba Marwa (retired), said the media remains an indispensable partner in Nigeria’s drug war.

Represented by the Secretary, NDLEA, Shedrach Haruna, he said, “For us in NDLEA, the media is a valued partner on whom we rely to foster a friendly ecosystem that aids anti-illicit drug abuse and trafficking in society.

“This is a well-thought-out training for media professionals, given that the media is a crucial link between the public and law enforcement and a potent tool for the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in the law enforcement process.”

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God'swill Ofigo
Nigeria Blogger / Social Media Promoter/ Talent Manager/ Entertainer/ CEO OfyNaija Blog. WhatsApp: 0904709861

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