The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked the African Commission, to “order the Nigerian government to withdraw the directive to the 36 state governors in Nigeria, to move swiftly to execute prisoners on death row across the country.
It wants the Commissioner Zainabo Kayitesi and Chairperson of the Working Group on Death Penalty to intervene in the matter.
SERAP, also, want adequate compensation paid to families of the four prisoners already, executed by the prison authorities in Edo State.
In a request for provisional measures by Solicitor to SERAP, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, the organisation asked the African Commission to “urgently exercise its authority to request Nigeria to immediately withdraw the directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to 36 state governors in Nigeria to execute all death row prisoners, and fully accord the prisoners their fair trial and other human rights, pending this Commission’s decision.”
The request for provisional measures was submitted in conjunction with SERAP’s communication to the African Commission.
It said: “Unless the African Commission urgently intervenes in this case, there is a risk of irreversible denial of several death row prisoners in Nigeria, which in turn will render nugatory the resolutions on moratorium on executions by the African Commission and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.”
The African Commission was also asked to request Nigeria to “give assurances that the directive by President Jonathan will not be implemented by any of the 36 state governors. The Nigerian government should also give assurances that they will fully implement the resolutions on moratorium on executions by the African Commission and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.
“The African Commission should ask Nigeria to ensure that prisoners on death row in prisons across the country receive fair trial and other international human rights guarantees applicable to their situation, including granting them their right to appeal. Therefore, the Commission’s urgent intervention is required to ensure that these prisoners’ right to life is not unjustly and illegally violated,” it said.
The Commission was also asked to “undertake a prompt review of its legal framework and administrative practices on the use of the death penalty to ensure their consistency with the resolutions on moratorium on executions by the African Commission and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.”