Metro & Crime

Nigeria: Don’t execute 3,008 deathrow inmates -Lawyers Without Borders

Lawyers Without Borders France otherwise known as Avocats Sans Frontières France, yesterday expressed concern over the call by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on governors to sign death warrants of convicts death-row inmates.

 

The group referred to Aregbesola’s speech on July 24, 2021 at the inauguration of the Osun State Command Headquarters complex of the Nigeria Correctional Service in Osogbo, where he urged state governors to sign the death warrants of 3,008 detainees, to decongest correctional facilities nationwide.

 

But in a statement issued in Enugu, the ASF Country Director, Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, urged Nigeria not to execute the death-row inmates. She said: “It is worrisome to learn that out of the total prison population of 68,747 inmates only 17,755 inmates are the actual convicts while 50,992 inmates, representing about 74 per cent, are awaiting trial.

 

“The statistics, as revealed by the minister, clearly shows that the current congestion in Nigerian prisons is as a result of the disturbing high number of awaiting trial inmates and not the minority population on death row.

“In our view of the above, the group canvasses for a more constructive approach including a declaration of a state of emergency in Nigeria’s criminal justice system with programmes and initiatives rolled out to tackle the slow pace of justice delivery in Nigeria.

 

“This should be done with a view to reducing the awaiting trial population, many of whom have spent eight years or more awaiting trial.

 

“The call for execution by the minister comes at a time when many countries across the globe and particularly in Africa continue to move away from using the death penalty due to its injustices. Just three days ago, Sierra Leone became the latest nation to abolish the death penalty after Malawi.”

 

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