by Isi Esene
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called on the governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole to suspend the execution of two inmates in the state whose death warrant have been signed by the governor.
According to the Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, the two men, Messrs. Calistus Eke and Olu Fatogun, have already appealed against the sentence passed on them by an Edo State High Court.
Angwe said it is imperative for the governor to rescind his decision approving the execution of the said inmates pending the determination of their appeal against their sentencing.
He said “executing them could be unconstitutional and a denial of their rights to appeal and fair hearing under Sections 241 and 36 respectively, of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
“Recall that the National Study Group On Death Penalty in 2004 advised that there should be a moratorium on execution in Nigeria and this position has been officially adopted by the Nigerian Government.
“In view of the above, we urge Your Excellency to rescind your execution order on the inmates, pending the final determination of the appeal.
“We look forward to an immediate halt to the execution to ensure that the judicial process takes its full course in this matter.”
Similarly, Avocats Sans Frontières France, an international human right body, also waded into the matter urging Oshiomhole to suspend the planned executions.
Reports say, the organisation released a statement saying, “The last official execution was carried out in 2002. Since then, there is a de facto moratorium on execution. The signature of warrant of executions in Edo State proves that the situation remains very fragile and that actions need to be continued.”
We can only wait to see the outcome of this standoff.