Wednesday, 1st February 2023
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

ASF France, others urge action against death penalty

By Bertram Nwannekanma
12 October 2022   |   4:04 am
Avocats Sans Frontières France, the Ambassade de France in Nigeria, the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Nigeria and the Institut Français du Nigéria...

Avocats Sans Frontières France, the Ambassade de France in Nigeria, the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Nigeria and the Institut Français du Nigéria, yesterday, called on Nigerian government, and others still practising death penalty, to put in place an official moratorium as a first step towards abolition.
  
Country Director, ASF France Nigeria, Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, made the call, in a statement to commemorate the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty.
  
The World Day Against the Death Penalty is observed on every October 10 to consolidate global movement against capital punishment and mobilises civil society, political leaders, activists, lawyers, change agents and more to support the call for universal abolition of capital punishment.
  


The day presents an opportunity to spotlight the death penalty thematic across the world and consolidate the general awareness of the worldwide movement against the death penalty.
  
Uzoma-Iwuchukwu stressed that the day was set aside for world activists, organisations and groups against the death penalty to reaffirm their opposition to the use of capital punishment in all circumstances and call for worldwide abolition of the death penalty.

“The death penalty is a gross violation of fundamental human rights; it is inhumane, cruel, and degrading. No state should have the power to take a person’s life.

“The death penalty disproportionately affects the most vulnerable of the society, who most times lack the resources to engage the services of a lawyer. Justice should never be to the disadvantage of the less privileged. Studies (by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty) have also revealed that the death penalty doesn’t serve as a deterrent, it doesn’t stop crimes from re-occurring.

“What is worse about the death penalty is that it is absolute, it cannot be undone, even in the emergence of new evidence exonerating the convicted.

“A collective stance against the death penalty should not be mistaken for a stance for unaccountability for crimes committed.

“Perpetrators of crimes must be held accountable and punished for their deeds, but narrowing the scope down to the effectiveness of judicial measures, the death penalty has been proven ineffective and doesn’t serve as a deterrent. Countries with the death penalty in full force continue to experience a prevalent rate of crime.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of person’s on death row currently stands at 5,841. With 3,036 death-row inmates, Nigeria represents over 52 per cent of the total number. This shows that efforts to end the death penalty in Nigeria must be reinvigorated. Nigeria as a nation must demonstrate firm resolve and commitment against acts that perpetuate a cycle of violence in a bid to serve justice.

“That no death penalties have been carried out in Nigeria since 2016 is a step in the right direction, but not enough.

“Nigeria is urged to join the growing list of African nations who have abolished the death penalty, such as Rwanda, Burundi, Togo, Gabon, Benin, Congo, Madagascar, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Sierra Leone.”