International Human Rights group, Avocats Sans Frontières, has called on Nigeria to abolish death penalty in the country’s laws.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the group’s Country Head, Ms Angela Uwandu, said that Nigeria needs to adopt a restrictive pronouncements on death penalty since several cases have shown that it has not served as a deterrent to crimes.
Ms Uwandu disclosed that the goal of the group was to ensure abolition of capital punishment in the Nigeria.
In pursuit of this goal, over a hundred inmates have had their cases reviewed and ultimately regained freedom following the completion of the Save Lives Project by the Avocats Sans Frontières.
Former death row inmate, Calistus Ike, was one of the freed inmates. He spent 23 years of his life in prison, first, he was on the list of inmates awaiting trial for seven years and thereafter, he was placed on death row for another sixteen years. He was said to have gone through all these for a crime he did not commit.
According to the human rights group, the case of Calistus Ike was similar to that of many inmates in the Nigerian prison system. In worse cases, some of them are awaiting trial for crimes that should not attract death penalty.
This has been the argument of the opponents of death penalty in Nigeria, according to Ms Uwandu, as the debate over whether death penalty should be abolished or not continues to be in public discourse in Nigeria.
However, miscarriage of justice remains a problem in criminal justice in many countries around the world.