A non-governmental organization, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has disclosed that 924 Nigerians have been sentenced to death and are awaiting execution in Nigeria. According to LEDAP, South West Coordinator, Mr. Dare Adeoye, the finding is contained in the recent publication of the organization, disclosing that eight out of the condemned people are female.
“As of July 2011, 924 persons awaiting execution are being held in death row cells in maximum security prisons at Kirikiri, Lagos, Enugu,Jos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt , Warri and Ibara (Abeokuta). 96 countries have abolished the use of the death penality while 59 countries including Nigeria still use it.
“In Africa, many large democratic states have abolished it, including Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Gabon and Togo.49 countries permit it but have not used the death penalty for at least 10 years, “LEDAP findings show. The offences that carried death penalty are murder, armed robbery,
treason and conspiracy to treason, kidnapping (Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi Enugu and Imo states), instigating an invasion of Nigeria, fabricating false evidence leading to the conviction and death of an innocent person and aiding the suicide of a child or lunatic.
In the states practicing Sharia (Islamic) Law, such as Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa,Niger, Sokoto ,Yobe and Zamfara states, the following offences attract death penalty; Rape, Incest, Liwat (homosexual sodomy) and Zina (adultery). Meanwhile ,participants at the workshop organized by LEDAP in Osogbo on “Reform of Criminal Justice Administration and Death Penalty” were divided on whether the death penalty should be abrogated or not.
Those who canvassed for abolition of death penalty noted that life is sacred and nobody under any guise has right to take it while those who wanted it retained said for such heinous crimes that attract the ultimate penalty, there is no other punishment that commensurate with the gravity of the offence.
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