05 March 2008 :the Presidential Commission on the Administrative Reform of Justice in Nigeria presented a series of recommendations to President Olusegun Obasanjo. They included the release of those on death row for more than 15 years and the review of cases of those on death row for more than 10 years. It also asked for the review of those who are sick or have mental illnesses.
The commission furthermore proposes the commutation to life imprisonment of all others sentenced to death and the release of all those detained for more than five years whose records have been lost.
“An official moratorium on the death penalty is needed,” added Commission secretary Olawale Fapohunda.
“The Constitution allows for capital punishment, but we are studying how the fundamental charter could be changed to commute all those sentenced to death to life imprisonment, like what happened in South Africa,” Fapohunda explained.
Of the approximately 40,000 detained in Nigerian prisons, more than half are awaiting trials or sentencing. Some have been waiting for trials for more than 10 years.