Alarm as Nigeria seeks to execute 3,008 prisoners

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Nigeria is planning to execute over 3,008 convicts as the federal government advises state governors to sign warrants for their deaths.

The federal government has also directed the governors to build holding centres for awaiting trial suspects to decongest prison facilities.

Among the 3,008 condemned criminals, 2,952 are males and 56 are females.

Despite the directive, 36 regional governors have turned down the request by the federal government to sign the death warrants.

The federal government later accused them of hampering the justice process and have promised to take stun action against the officials.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, gave the charge on Friday at the commissioning of the Osun State Command office complex of the Nigerian Correctional Service NCoS, Osogbo.

Nigeria has experienced a surge in the number of prisoners, with the current influx standing at more than 18%.

The Minister of Interior disclosed that 50,992 inmates, representing 74 percent of the total population of inmates in the custodial centers are awaiting trial while only 17,755 inmates which are 26 percent are actual convicts.

The move to execute over 3,000 prisoners has received a lot of setbacks especially from the right groups terming it a violation of human rights.

“The death penalty is a violation of human rights and the African Union moratorium on executions,” said the CAPIO head. “It will be a miscarriage of justice to sign the death warrant, while repentant insurgents and bandits who commit grievous crimes are ignored or even granted amnesty,” Jude Isiguzo, the executive director of Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organisation (CAPIO) said.

Death warrants were last signed in 2013 in Edo state in south Nigeria for the execution of five condemned prisoners, four of whom were executed by hanging.

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