NIGERIA: ECOWAS COURT UPHOLDS RIGHTS OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS ON DEATH ROW
June 18, 2014: in a landmark verdict, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Court) has opposed death sentences imposed on two juvenile offenders in Nigeria, underscoring its duty to respect and enforce fundamental human rights as stipulated in the African Charter on Human and Peopleâ€™s Rights.
The cases brought before the court by Avocats Sans Frontieres France (ASFF) concerned death row inmates Maimuna Abdulmumini and Thankgod Ebhos. Maimuna was tried for the alleged murder of her husband when she was only 13 years old and was subsequently sentenced to death by a Katsina State High Court in 2012. Thankgod has been on death row since 1995 after being sentenced to death by a military tribunal.
In its final judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Hansine Donli, declared that pronouncing the death sentence on them for an offence they committed as minors was a breach of Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The judge then ordered the Nigerian government to refrain from any attempt to execute them. (Sources: ngrguardiannews.com, 18/06/2014)