The Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF-France) commonly referred to as Lawyers without Borders, has renewed its call for the abolition of death penalty in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.
ASF France, Head of Office, in Nigeria, Angela Uwandu in a statement yesterday urged the Nigerian government to officially implement the moratorium on death penalty to celebrate the 14th World Day against the Death Penalty.
“Avocats Sans Frontières France/ Lawyers Without Borders France renews its call to the Government of Nigeria to put in place an official moratorium on the death penalty. The theme for this year’s celebration, ‘The death penalty and terrorism’ is particularly relevant to the Nigerian situation in the wake of terrorism in the North East of the country,” she said.
According to Uwandu, it is unfortunate that Nigeria is one of the countries that have introduced the death penalty as one of its measures for fighting terrorism within its territories.
“As the Nigerian government continues its brave fight against the Boko Haram group, the point however must be made that the death penalty has never been a solution for addressing terrorism in any country.
“So far, 103 states have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, 6 have abolished it for ordinary crimes, 32 respect a moratorium on executions making 141 States in total who have taken steps against the death penalty,” she said.
She however urged Nigerian government to join the league of progressive nations that have abrogated the death penalty from its laws.
She added that Nigeria should work towards restorative justice and ensure full adherence to due process and the rule of law by reforming its criminal justice system.
“The legislature both at the national and state levels must also refrain from imposing the death penalty for future offences while steps are taken to review existing laws prescribing the death penalty in Nigeria. The death penalty is barbaric, absolute.