15 January 2008 :

Nigerian NGOs and Amnesty International express serious concerns about reports of the executions of several prisoners on death row in Nigerian prisons and call for an immediate moratorium. We are very worried the men concerned were denied their right to appeal their sentence and to legal representation as is required to guarantee a fair trial. Executing people who did not have a fair trial is contrary to the constitution and international treaties to which Nigeria is a state party. Therefore we call on President Yar Adua to impose an immediate moratorium on executions. On 30 May 2006, Mr Kenneth Ekhone and Mr Auwalu Musa were hanged in Kaduna Central Prison. They were tried and convicted by the Kano State Robbery and Fire Arms Tribunal No 2. They were not offered the services of a lawyer throughout the proceeding, nor were they given an opportunity to appeal against the judgement. Both death warrants were signed by the current Kano state governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. Up until the time of his death, Auwalu Musa denied having anything to do with the crime. We cannot understand why the Nigerian government has publicly denied the killings, despite strong evidence of several executions. We note that the Nigerian criminal justice system cannot guarantee a fair trial in capital cases. Several governmental commissions have concluded this as well.

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