LAGOS (NIGERIA): COURT RESTRAINS GOVT FROM EXECUTING FIVE BY HANGING
September 25, 2012: In Nigeria, a Lagos High Court Judge, Justice Mufutau Olokoba, has nullified the death sentence passed on five persons. This declaration followed an originating summons filed by Norrison Quakers (SAN) in 2008, against the Attorney-General of Lagos State on behalf of the five condemned persons, who were convicted at various occasions and for various offences between 1984 and 1995. They were to die by hanging or firing squad.
The judge, who described the mode of execution of the said punishment as an infraction on the right to human dignity of the condemned persons, granted a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents (Lagos State Government) from executing the condemned persons by hanging or firing squad.
Addressing the constitutionality of the methods of execution provided by the Criminal Procedure Law and the Robbery and Firearms Act, Olokoba said it was a violation of the right to human dignity of a person as provided by Section 34(1) of the 1999 Constitution. âDeath by hanging or by firing squad amounts to a violation of the condemnedâs right to dignity of the human person and inhuman and degrading treatment. It is consequently unconstitutionalâŚâ Olokoba said.
Reacting to the judgment by the court, Quakers said it has revolutionized the administration of criminal justice as it is a departure from conservatism. He noted that until the judgment is reversed or set aside by an appellate court, it remains binding and any court that pronounces death by hanging or firing squad can be challenged based on the judgment by Olokoba. (Sources: The Nation, 25/09/2012)