No more justification for death sentence in Nigeria - Group

The Nigeria Lawyer

An advocacy group, Human Rights Law Service, has said there is no longer any justification for Nigerian judges to continue to pass death sentence on convicts in the country. This, according to HURILAWS, which is being spearheaded by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), is because state governors, who have the power to sign the death warrants for death row inmates, are shying away from such responsibility. The group, quoting Amnesty International, said there were no fewer than 2,285 death row inmates languishing in different prisons across the country, noting that in 2017 alone, a total of 621 persons were sentenced to death by the courts with no governor willing to sign their death warrants. In a statement on Wednesday by its Senior Legal/Programme Officer, Collins Okeke, in commemoration of this year's World Day against the Death Penalty, HURILAWS urged Nigerian judges to support the advocacy for the abolishment of death penalty by, in protest, stopping to sentence convicts to death. It noted that though death row inmates were entitled to the protection of their human rights, in Nigerian prisons they were being kept under dehumanising conditions.