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Failure to sign death warrant of convicted murder suspects violates justice 


Rauf Aregbesola

Sir: Ever since the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made an appeal to the executive governors of all the states of the federation on the need for them to append their signatures on the death warrant of convicted inmates as one of the ways to decongest the Nigerian prisons, some members of the public have been making appeals for soft landing for those on the death row. It must be made explicitly clear that what the minister said is long overdue and the blood of all those murdered in cold blood are asking for justice.


Once a murder case has been decided and the accused found guilty, any governor who refuses to sign the death warrant will be guilty of perverting justice. The reason why murder cases are prevalent in Nigeria today is because of the attitude of the governors who often refuse to do their own part after the courts have played their own part. Every now and then, there are stories of gruesome murders that send jitters down the spines of everybody. Yet when sometimes the accused are rounded up, found guilty and sentenced accordingly, the governors, acting like saints always refuse to append their signatures ostensibly in order not to have any body’s blood in their hands. There ought to be no pity for anybody who has taken another person’s life and has been found guilty and sentenced accordingly.

Nigerian governors must realise that by refusing to sign death warrant of convicted murderers, they continue to encourage the perpetration of such heinous crime against humanity in the Nigerian society and the blood of those whose lives are cut down in their prime will be on the head of whoever refuses to append his signature, thereby preventing justice from taking its course. 

• Jide Oyewusi is the coordinator of Ethics Watch International. 


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