NIGERIA: GOV UDUAGHAN GRANTS TOTAL PARDON TO BOY SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR STEALING 3 PHONES IN DELTA
May 28, 2015: Emmanuel Uduaghan , the Governor of the Delta State, granted total pardon to Moses Akatugba who was sentenced to death for stealing three phones. Aside granting total pardon to Moses, Governor Uduaghan also commute death sentences of three others to various terms of imprisonment. Amnesty International has been championing for the Moses Akatugbaâs release who was 16-year-old when, in 2005, he was awaiting the results of his secondary school exams and his life changed forever. He was arrested by the Nigerian army and shot in the hand, beaten on the head and back, and then charged with stealing mobile phones. He was initially held at the local army barracks where, he says, soldiers showed him a corpse. He couldnât identify the dead man, so they beat him. After being transferred to Epkan police station in Delta State, Moses was tortured again. He said that the police beat him severely with machetes and batons, tied him up and hung him for several hours in interrogation rooms, and used pliers to pull out his finger and toe nails to force him to sign two âconfessionsâ â which formed the sole basis of his conviction in 2013.
On the same day Mr Jonah Jang, Governor of Plateau State, with less than twenty-four hours to the end of his tenure, granted state pardon to five convicts, who were condemned to death in the state. A statement issued in Jos by Mr James Mannok, the Director of Press Affairs to the outgoing governor, explained that the decision was taken in consultation with the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy. The beneficiaries are: Lawrence Oguno, Joel Oguno, Jacob Kwakfwan, Mohammed Umar and Magaji Ibrahim. The decision it said, was also in accordance with the power conferred on the governor under Section 212 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended. The statement added that two other convicts; Emmanuel Ochiba and Maxwell Idi, have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment. (Sources: 28/5/2015, thestreetjournal.org; 29/5/15, mediaworldng.com)