Amnesty International warns Akeredolu against execution of prisoners in Ondo
Amnesty International on Thursday asked Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, not to authorize the execution of any prisoner on death row. Amnesty International said it is extremely concerned that executions may resume in Nigeria. On 27 March, 2019, Ondo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adekola Olawoye, stated that the Governor will commence the signing of execution warrants.
In a statement, it said, “Since the declaration was made Amnesty International has received a report that the Ondo State Governor may have signed executions warrant. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu must recognise that the death penalty is a cruel punishment that has no place in the 21st century and we ask him to respect the right to life,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria. No matter what the crime is, who the prisoner is, or the method of execution used, nothing can justify the deliberate taking of human life by the government. There is no convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime better than imprisonment, therefore the death penalty is an ineffective punishment. The possible resumption of execution in Nigeria will constitute a setback for the country and it should be avoided, particularly as the world is moving away from the use of the death penalty.
Amnesty International is calling on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to commute all death sentences issued in Ondo state to prison terms; make a public commitment that he would not authorize the execution of any prisoner; and take immediate steps to abolish the death penalty for all crimes in Ondo state,” said Osai Ojigho. The last time Nigeria carried out an execution was in December 2016 when three men were executed in Benin city prison. Of the over 2000 people on death row in Nigerian prisons, those who have exhausted their right of appeal are at risk of execution and could be executed as soon as a State governor authorizes their death warrants. Since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999 most State governors have not signed executions warrants.