Avocats Sans Frontières France (Lawyers Without Borders) has faulted President Goodluck Jonathan over his call on governors to sign execution warrants.
The group in a statement in Abuja, Thursday, described the call as insensitive and appealed to the Federal Government to respect its moratorium agreement on death sentences.
The statement reads: “The ASFF condemns in its entirety the recent call on governors to exercise their constitutional responsibility of signing death warrant for the enforcement of capital punishment. and describes the call as insensitive.
“ASFF is calling on the Nigerian government to respect the existing moratorium on execution. Recall that the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs in February 2009 at the 4th Session of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review stated that Nigeria has a self imposed moratorium.”
According to the association, “The inefficient investigation mechanism often adopted by security agents, extraction of confessional statements from suspects under duress, the delay in trial as a result of constant court adjournments, non adherence to due process and the principle of fair trial from arrest, trial and sentencing are some of the enormous challenges facing the criminal justice system in Nigeria.”
It observed that the irrevocability of execution where evidence later reveals the innocence of the convict and the non proportionality of offence to the punishment are some of the major concern in the use of capital punishment, adding there was need to review the criminal justice system in Nigeria.
The ASFF said the latest move by the federal government would lead to the execution of over 700 inmates on death row in Nigeria.