Death Penalty Database

Nigeria

Information current as of: May 24, 2019

General

Official Country Name

Federal Republic of Nigeria (Nigeria). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Western Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [3] Nigeria last executed three individuals in 2016. [4]

Methods of Execution

Beheading.
A person sentenced to death by a Shariah court in the Northern Region for certain types of offenses may be executed by beheading. [5]

Hanging.
Hanging is the most frequently applicable method of execution. Capital sentences passed under federal criminal legislation lead to execution by hanging. [6] Under Shariah law (applied in some northern Nigerian states), executions may be carried out by hanging for certain types of offenses. [7] In Lagos state, however, execution by hanging may be unconstitutional since a 2012 decision by the High Court of Lagos. [8]

Lethal Injection.
Since 2015, lethal injection is a permitted method of execution pursuant to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. [9] Nigeria had not executed any prisoner by lethal injection as of April 2019. [10]

Shooting.
Under the Federal Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, applicable in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, death sentences can be carried out by firing squad, if so decided by the governor. [11] Under Shariah law, applied in some northern Nigerian states, executions can be carried out by firing squad for certain types of offenses. [12] In Lagos state, however, execution by firing squad may be unconstitutional since a 2012 decision by the High Court of Lagos. [13]

Stoning.
Stoning (rajm) is a Shariah punishment applied in some northern Nigerian states and reserved for Muslims. [14] The punishment applies for zina (adultery), [15] rape (if the offender is married), [16] incest (if the offender is married), [17] and homosexual sodomy. [18]

Other.
Under Shariah law, crucifixion (salb) is used to punish hirabah—the act of terrorizing people for the purpose of robbery [19] —resulting in death and when property is seized. [20] Nigerian states differ on what is meant by “crucifixion.” [21]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Nigeria, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13949550, Feb. 18, 2019.
[2] U.N. Statistics Division, Standard country or area codes for statistical use (M49), https://unstats.un.org/unsd/methodology/m49/, last accessed Jul. 6, 2018.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[4] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 36, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[5] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 241(a), Oct. 2005.
[6] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 402(1), May 13, 2015. Under the Federal Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, applicable in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, death sentences can be carried out by hanging, if so decided by the governor. Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, sec. 1(3), Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[7] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, p. 52 n. 67, Mar. 2002.
[8] In 2012, the High Court of Lagos declared that execution by hanging or firing squad is unconstitutional as it violates the prisoner’s rights to dignity of the human person and to be free from torture and inhumane or degrading treatment under Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution. The ruling is only enforceable in Lagos state. Ajulu v. Attorney General of Lagos State, Suit No. ID/76M/2008, High Ct. of Lagos State, Jun. 29, 2012.
[9] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 402(1), May 13, 2015.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, p. 60, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 5, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 6, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019. DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[11] Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, sec. 1(3), Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[12] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, p. 52 n. 67, Mar. 2002.
[13] The High Court of Lagos held that execution by firing squad is unconstitutional as it violates the prisoner’s rights to dignity of the human person and to be free from torture and inhumane or degrading treatment under Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution. This ruling applies only within Lagos state. Ajulu v. Attorney General of Lagos State, Suit No. ID/76M/2008, High Ct. of Lagos State, Jun. 29, 2012.
[14] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. I, sec. 44, Mar. 2002.
[15] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 126, Mar. 2002.
[16] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 128(b), Mar. 2002.
[17] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 132(b), Mar. 2002.
[18] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 130, Mar. 2002.
[19] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 151, Mar. 2002. Nik Rahim Nik Wajis, The Crime of Hirabah in Islamic Law, p. 63, Glasgow Caledonian University, Jan. 1996.
[20] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 152(d), Mar. 2002.
[21] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 152(d), Mar. 2002.

Country Details

Language(s)

English (official), Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa. [1]

Population

186 million (2018 estimate). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

By the end of 2018, there were more than 2,000 people on death row in Nigeria, including at least 46 people sentenced to death that year. [3] Nigeria had the highest number of people on death row in the region by the end of 2018. [4]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2019 to date (last updated on September 11, 2019)

0. [5]

Executions in 2018

0. [6]

Executions in 2017

0. [7]

Executions in 2016

3. [8]

Executions in 2015

0. [9]

Executions in 2014

0. [10]

Executions in 2013

4. [11]

Executions in 2012

0. [12]

Executions in 2011

0. [13]

Executions in 2010

0. [14]

Executions in 2009

0. [15]

Executions in 2008

0. [16]

Executions in 2007

0. [17]

Year of Last Known Execution

In 2016, Nigeria executed three individuals who had been sentenced to death for armed robbery by military tribunals. [18] The executions were carried out in Benin Prison in Edo State. [19] Nigeria had not previously carried out an execution since 2013, when it executed four prisoners for armed robbery, who reportedly still had appeals pending. [20] Likewise, the men executed in 2016 reportedly had appeals outstanding, and may therefore have been executed in violation of Nigerian and international law. [21]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Nigeria, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13949550, Feb. 18, 2019.
[2] BBC, Country Profiles: Nigeria, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13949550, Feb. 18, 2019.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[4] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[5] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 34, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 36, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, p. 60, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, p. 59, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 45, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, p. 43, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 50, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 41, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 36, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017. Innocent Anaba, Edo executes 3, as Aregbesola grants amnesty to 4 death-row inmates, Vanguard, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/12/edo-executes-3-aregbesola-grants-amnesty-4-death-row-inmates/, Dec. 29, 2016.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 38, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[20] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 45, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Nigeria executions: “They almost executed him secretly”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/nigeria-death-penalty-feature-2013-06-28, Jun. 28, 2013.
[21] Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP condemns the killing of three death row prisoners in Nigeria, http://www.worldcoalition.org/LEDAP-condemns-the-killing-of-three-death-row-prisoners-in-Nigeria.html, Dec. 28, 2016.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
A conviction of murder carries the mandatory death penalty. [1] The Criminal Code Act, applicable in the southern states of Nigeria except Lagos, does not distinguish between murder and aggravated murder. [2]

Under Shariah law, applicable in the northern states, intentional killing during robbery (hirabah) or after secluding a person to rob him (gheelah) carries the mandatory death penalty. [3]

Murder.
Under the Criminal Code Act, a conviction of murder carries the mandatory death penalty. [4]

In the northern states applying Shariah law, simple murder carries the retributive (qisas) sentence of death, which applies in every case unless the victim’s family grants the convicted person a pardon. [5]

A person convicted of murder by a court martial is liable to receive a death sentence. [6]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Under the Criminal Code Act, killing someone unintentionally while committing another unlawful act is deemed murder and carries the mandatory death penalty. [7] It is immaterial that the offender did not intend to hurt any person. [8] Further, a person who presides over a trial by ordeal [9] that results in death is liable to receive the death penalty. [10]

In states applying Shariah law, an act of terrorizing people for the purpose of robbery (hirabah) is punished with mandatory death penalty when resulting in death. [11] House trespassing resulting in death is punished with a retributive death sentence (qisas). [12] Perjury or fabrication resulting in the execution of an innocent defendant carries a retributive sentence of death (qisas). [13] Committing any act of witchcraft or juju [14] that results in death carries the mandatory death penalty. [15] Causing the death of an accused witch through trial by ordeal carries a retributive death penalty (qisas). [16] A retributive death penalty (qisas) applies by law, unless the victim’s family grants the condemned person a pardon. [17] Further, under Shariah law, assisting in the suicide of a person legally unable to consent may be punished by death. [18]

Abetting a person to commit intentional or unintentional homicide may carry a death sentence. [19]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
A person inside or outside Nigeria who knowingly commits, attempts, assists, or is an accessory to any act of terrorism resulting in death is liable to be sentenced to death. [20]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A person inside or outside Nigeria who knowingly commits, attempts, assists, or is an accessory to any act of terrorism is liable to be sentenced to death, even where the act does not result in death. [21]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
In states applying Shariah law, rape committed by a married person carries the death penalty by stoning. [22]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Under federal law, armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm to a victim carries the mandatory death penalty. [23] A person convicted of armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm is liable to be sentenced to death by hanging or firing squad. [24] Armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm is also punishable with the mandatory death penalty in Lagos state. [25]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
According to collated news sources, kidnapping is a capital offense in at least 15 Nigerian states. In 2009, kidnapping was made a capital offense in six states—Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo. [26] In 2013, Edo and Bayelsa followed suit. [27] Two more states, Cross River and Kogi, enacted laws in 2015 prescribing death penalty for kidnapping. [28] In 2016, Oyo State enacted a law prescribing a death sentence or life imprisonment for kidnapping. [29] Benue and Bauchi states made kidnapping a capital offense in 2017, [30] followed by Rivers State in 2018. [31] In 2019, Katsina state amended its penal code to prescribe capital punishment for kidnapping. [32] We were unable to confirm whether death is a component of the offense in some states.

Adultery.
In states applying Shariah law, a married person who commits adultery shall receive a mandatory death sentence. [33]

Apostasy.
In states applying Shariah law, blasphemy against Islam carries the mandatory death penalty. [34]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
In states applying Shariah law, homosexual sodomy carries the mandatory death sentence. [35]

Treason.
Under federal law, treason, conspiring to wage war against Nigeria, and treachery [36] may be punishable by death. [37] Both Nigerians and non-Nigerians may be convicted of treason. [38]

In northern states, treason carries the mandatory death penalty. [39]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Aiding or communicating with the enemy, cowardly behavior, mutiny, malingering, [40] armed robbery, and treason are crimes punishable by death on conviction by a court-martial. [41]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
In states applying Shariah law, incest committed by a married person carries the mandatory death penalty by stoning. [42]

In states applying Shariah law, the practice of some religions may be considered juju [43] or witchcraft and punished by a mandatory death sentence. [44] Cannibalism and retaining human blood or remains as a trophy or for the purpose of juju [45] are also punished by a mandatory death sentence. [46]

In March 2018, Rivers state amended its laws to impose capital punishment for cultism. [47] We were unable to confirm whether death is a component of the offense.

Katsina state’s penal code was amended in May 2019 introducing the death penalty as punishment for cattle rustling. [48] We were unable to confirm whether death is a component of the offense.

Comments.
Nigeria operates under a federal system with 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, which is the capital of the federation and seat of the federal government. While there are some federal criminal laws—such as the 1984 Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act—most criminal offenses fall under state jurisdiction. The 1916 Criminal Code Act applies to the states in the south except Lagos state, while the 1960 Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act applies to the Northern Region. In addition, the 36 states and the FCT-Abuja have their own laws, which define individual crimes and punishments within the territory of the state. The National Assembly of Nigeria, situated in Abuja, has exclusive legislative powers over the FCT. [49] Twelve northern states have incorporated Shariah law into their penal laws. [50] According to in-country experts, state-level amendments to state criminal laws can greatly affect the application of the death penalty. [51]

We did not have access to the complete criminal legislation for all 36 states. We consulted the Criminal Code Act (effective in southern states except Lagos), the Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, the Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated (compiling the Shariah law of the northern states with the Penal Code applicable in the northern states), the Armed Forces Act, the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, and the Terrorism (Prevention) Act. [52] The Harmonised Sharia Penal Code we referred to is an informative secondary compilation of annotated Shariah offenses rather than a collection of the original statutes, which we could not obtain. For the purposes of this research, we included any offense which is death-eligible in at least one state.

Shariah rules of procedure establish that circumstantial evidence is prohibited and the conviction must be based on the testimony of four male witnesses or a confession. [53] We were unable to confirm whether the 12 states applying Shariah law enforce the evidentiary standards required by law.

As of July 2018, Nigeria’s House of Representatives was considering a bill to enact the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act of 2018, which would repeal the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended by the Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013. [54] The bill prescribes the death penalty for at least five terrorism-related offenses. [55]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

Yes. Nigerian federal law prescribes the mandatory death penalty for a wide range of offenses. [56]

Shariah laws prescribe both mandatory death penalty and retributive sentences of death (qisas). Conviction for a retributive offense does not allow courts to exercise discretion and hand down individualized sentences but unless a payment of blood money is made to a victim’s relatives or forgiveness is extended. [57]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Aggravated Murder.
A conviction of murder carries the mandatory death penalty. [58] The Criminal Code Act, applicable in the southern states of Nigeria except Lagos, does not distinguish between murder and aggravated murder. [59]

Under Shariah law, applicable in the northern states, intentional killing during robbery (hirabah) or after secluding a person to rob him (gheelah) carries the mandatory death penalty. [60]

Murder.
Under the Criminal Code Act, a conviction of murder carries the mandatory death penalty. [61]

In states applying Shariah law, simple murder carries the retributive (qisas) sentence of death, which applies in every case unless the victim’s family grants the condemned a pardon. [62] A person who induces a person to commit a murder is liable for that agent’s offense. [63]

A person convicted of murder by a court martial is liable to receive a death sentence. [64] Based on the language of the statute, it is unclear whether the death sentence is mandatory and we have been unable to confirm.

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Under the Criminal Code Act, killing someone unintentionally while committing another unlawful act is deemed murder and carries the mandatory death penalty. [65] It is immaterial that the offender did not intend to hurt any person. [66]

Further, a person who presides over a trial by ordeal [67] that results in death is liable to receive the death penalty. [68] Based on the language of the statute, it is unclear whether the death sentence is mandatory and we have been unable to confirm.

In states applying Shariah law, an act of terrorizing people for the purpose of robbery or other purposes (hirabah) is punished with mandatory death penalty when resulting in death. [69] House trespassing resulting in death is punished with a retributive death sentence (qisas). [70] Perjury or fabrication resulting in the execution of an innocent defendant carries a retributive sentence of death (qisas). [71] Committing any act of witchcraft or juju [72] that results in death carries the mandatory death penalty. [73] Causing the death of an accused witch through trial by ordeal carries a retributive death penalty (qisas). [74] A retributive death penalty (qisas) applies to any person convicted of intentional homicide, unless the victim’s family grants the condemned a pardon. [75]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
In states applying Shariah law, rape committed by a married person carries the mandatory death penalty by stoning. [76]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Under the Criminal Code Act, armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm to a victim carries the mandatory death penalty. [77] Under the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, a person convicted of armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm is liable to be sentenced to death penalty by hanging or firing squad. [78] Based on the language of the statute, it is unclear whether the death sentence is mandatory and we have been unable to confirm.

Armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm is also punishable with the mandatory death penalty pursuant to the Criminal Law of Lagos State of 2011. [79]

Adultery.
In states applying Shariah law, a married person who commits adultery shall receive a mandatory death sentence by stoning. [80]

Apostasy.
In states applying Shariah law, blasphemy to the Prophet or Islam carries the mandatory death penalty. [81]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
In states applying Shariah law, homosexual sodomy carries the mandatory death sentence by stoning. [82]

Treason.
Under federal law, treason, conspiring to wage war against Nigeria, and treachery [83] may be punishable by death. [84] Both Nigerians and non-Nigerians can be convicted of treason. [85] Based on the language of the statute, it is unclear whether the death sentence is mandatory and we have been unable to confirm.

Under the Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provision Act, treason carries the mandatory death penalty. [86]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A person convicted by a court-martial for mutiny, armed robbery, or treason is liable to the punishment of death. [87] Based on the language of the statute, it is unclear whether the death sentence is mandatory and we have been unable to confirm.

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
In states applying Shariah law, incest committed by a married person carries the mandatory death sentence by stoning. [88] In states applying Shariah law, the practice of some religions may be considered juju [89] or witchcraft and punished by a mandatory death sentence. [90] Cannibalism and retaining human blood or remains as a trophy or for the purpose of juju [91] are also punished by mandatory death sentence. [92]

Comments.
The retributive sentence of death (qisas) is a penalty that excludes the possibility of judicial discretion unless a payment of blood money is made to a victim’s relatives or forgiveness is gratuitously extended. [93] We consider this to be a mandatory death penalty because an extrajudicial determination controls whether discretion may be exercised.

Other offenses in Nigeria carry the mandatory death penalty because they either explicitly exclude discretion under any circumstances (as is the case for hadd punishments) or demand application of the death penalty without providing for alternative punishments. [94]

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

Murder.
On June 24, 2013, four men, Chima Ejiofor, Daniel Nsofor, Osarenmwinda Aiguokhan, and Richard Igaggu, were hanged at Benin City prison. [95] The four prisoners were convicted of either armed robbery or murder. [96]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
The four prisoners executed in 2013 were convicted of either armed robbery or murder. [97] We were unable to find information on whether the robbery offenses resulted in the death of a victim.

Nigeria last executed three individuals in 2016 for armed robbery under the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act. [98] On December 23, 2016, three men were secretly executed in Benin prison in Edo state. [99] All three men had been convicted for armed robbery by military tribunals in the 1990s when Nigeria was under military dictatorship. [100] We were unable to find information on whether the robbery offenses resulted in the death of a victim.

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
As a party to the ICCPR, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Nigeria is obliged under international law to exclude juveniles—persons below 18 years of age—from capital punishment. [101] Nevertheless, Nigeria’s multiple legal systems have differing definitions of legal juvenility, and there have been reports that Nigeria has sentenced people under 18 to death. [102]

The Child’s Rights Act of Nigeria of 2003, which was adopted as an attempt to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child into Nigerian law, [103] defines juveniles as a child under the age of 18 and prohibits sentencing juveniles to capital punishment. [104] This Act, however, is only enforceable in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja and in states that have explicitly enacted it. [105] As of May 2018, 26 states out of 36 had passed the Children’s Rights Act. [106]

Under the Criminal Code Act, applicable in southern states with the exception of Lagos, people over the age of 17 can be subject to the death penalty. [107] Nevertheless, under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, applicable in all federal courts, a person under the age of 18 convicted of a capital offense cannot be sentenced to death. [108] Juveniles convicted of capital offenses shall be sentenced to life in prison or to another term that the court deems appropriate. [109]

Under Shariah law applicable in at least 12 northern states, juveniles who committed offenses under the age of puberty (taklif) or “the age of attaining legal and religious responsibility” cannot be executed. [110] No act is considered an offense under Shariah law when committed by a child under age seven, and in cases of hudud [111] and qisas [112] by a child under the age of puberty (taklif). [113] Although the age of taklif is not defined in Shariah law, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzak, explained in 2014 that the age of taklif was 9 years for girls and 14 years for boys. [114]

Nigeria is one of nine countries that has executed at least one juvenile since 1990. Nigeria executed Chiebore Onuoha in 1997, who was 15 at the time of the offense and 17 at the time of execution. [115] As of 2010, 40 death row inmates were thought to be under the age of 18 at the time of their offenses. [116] From 2011 to 2016, Amnesty International reported that juvenile offenders convicted in previous years remained on death row in Nigeria. [117] We were unable to confirm if there were juvenile offenders on death row as of May 2019.

Pregnant Women.
As a party to the ICCPR and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Nigeria is obliged to exclude pregnant and nursing women from capital punishment. [118]

Pursuant to section 404 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, applicable in all federal courts, a pregnant woman convicted of a capital offense can be sentenced to death, but her execution will be suspended until the baby is born and weaned. [119] Before passing a sentence, the court shall determine whether the woman is pregnant or not based on the evidence presented by the defendant or the prosecution. [120]

Under Shariah law, the court shall determine if a woman convicted of a capital offense who alleges to be pregnant is indeed pregnant before passing a sentence. [121] Further, if a woman sentenced to death alleges to be pregnant, the prison in which she is detained shall report this to the state’s governor who shall postpone her execution until a medical officer determines whether she is pregnant. [122] If the woman is pregnant, the death sentence is postponed until the baby is born and weaned. [123]

Intellectually Disabled.
There are no laws expressly prohibiting the execution of prisoners who are intellectually disabled at the time of their sentencing or at the time the death sentence is to be carried out. [124]

In terms of criminal liability, the Criminal Code Act, applicable in southern states with the exception of Lagos, stipulates that an individual is excluded from criminal liability if at the time of the crime he or she is in “such a state of mental disease or natural mental infirmity as to deprive him of capacity to understand what he is doing, or of capacity to control his actions, or of capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission.” [125] The court judges the criminal responsibility of those affected by delusions to “the same extent as if the real state of things had been such as he was induced by the delusions to believe to exist.” [126]

Individuals may be found incompetent to stand trial when the court has reason to doubt their mental capacity or soundness of mind. [127] In such cases, the court shall order a medical examination. [128] Nevertheless, according to the Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), there are many cases where mentally impaired persons in Nigeria are tried without adequate support or defense. [129]

According to in-country experts, a defendant who is found not guilty for a reason related to mental illness or intellectual disability is not discharged or acquitted by the court. Instead, he or she is either sent to prison or to an asylum, where his/her mental health is monitored and evaluated. [130] The final decision on criminal liability lies with the state governor or president, who may order the defendant’s release. [131] In practice, defendants often remain in detention for an indefinite period of time, unless clemency is granted upon recommendation of a medical officer. [132] In 2016, a Nigerian defense lawyer reported the case of an intellectually disabled client, who had been waiting for 1.5 years for a medical exam, which the court had ordered. The psychiatrist wanted to be paid a fee, however, which no one could pay. Meanwhile, his client remained on death row with regular prison population. [133]

Mentally Ill.
There are no laws expressly prohibiting the execution of prisoners who are mentally ill at the time of their sentencing or at the time the death sentence is to be carried out. [134]

In terms of criminal liability, the Criminal Code Act, applicable in Southern states with the exception of Lagos, stipulates that an individual is excluded from criminal liability if at the time of the crime he or she is in “such a state of mental disease or natural mental infirmity as to deprive him of capacity to understand what he is doing, or of capacity to control his actions, or of capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission.” [135] The court judges the criminal responsibility of those affected by delusions to “the same extent as if the real state of things had been such as he was induced by the delusions to believe to exist.” [136]

Individuals may be found incompetent to stand trial when the court has reason to doubt their mental capacity or soundness of mind. [137] In such cases, the court shall order a medical examination. [138] Nevertheless, according to the Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), there are many cases where mentally impaired persons in Nigeria are tried without adequate support or defense. [139]

According to in-country experts, a defendant who is found not guilty for a reason related to mental illness or intellectual disability is not discharged or acquitted by the court. Instead, he or she is either sent to prison or to an asylum, where his/her mental health is monitored and evaluated. [140] The final decision on criminal liability lies with the state governor or president, who may order the defendant’s release. [141] In practice, mentally ill defendants may spend years in detention before being medically examined. [142] For instance, Clifford Orgi, who was in state custody for 14 years while suffering apparent mental illness, died in prison while his attorneys were trying to get a diagnosis of his mental illness. [143]

References

[1] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[2] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 316, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[3] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 50, 152(c)(d), 199, Mar. 2002.
[4] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[5] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 199, Mar. 2002.
[6] Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, sec. 106, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[7] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 316, 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[8] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 316, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[9] Section 207 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria states, “[t]he trial by the ordeal of sasswood, esere-bean, or other poison, boiling oil, fire, immersion in water or exposure to the attacks of crocodiles or other wild animals, or by any ordeal which is likely to result in the death of or bodily injury to any party to the proceeding is unlawful.” Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 207, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[10] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 208, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[11] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 152(c)(d), Mar. 2002.
[12] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 193(a), Mar. 2002.
[13] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 330(2), Mar. 2002.
[14] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 408, Mar. 2002.
[15] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 411, Mar. 2002.
[16] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 407, Mar. 2002.
[17] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 199, Mar. 2002.
[18] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 205(a), Mar. 2002.
[19] Under Shariah law, a person who abets another person to commit murder shall be sentenced to death if: (a) he or she knew of the likely consequences of the act of the person he or she abetted, and (b) the execution of the act would not have been possible without his or her abetment. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 205(b), Mar. 2002.
[20] Terrorism (Prevention) Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 4(2), Act. No. 10 of 2011, Jun. 2, 2011, as amended by Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013, sec. 2(c), Feb. 21, 2013.
[21] Terrorism (Prevention) Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 4(2), Act. No. 10 of 2011, Jun. 2, 2011, as amended by Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013, sec. 2(c), Feb. 21, 2013.
[22] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 128 (b), Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’ah Penal Code, sec. 129(b), Jan. 2000.
[23] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 402, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[24] Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, sec. 1(2)(3), Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[25] Criminal Law of Lagos State, sec. 295(2), Aug. 19, 2011.
[26] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 23, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[27] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 45, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[28] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, pp. 60–61, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016. Kogi Reports, Kogi Approves Death Penalty For Kidnappers, Accomplices, http://kogireports.com/kogi-approves-death-penalty-for-kidnappers-accomplices/, Jul. 11, 2015.
[29] Ola Ajavi, Kidnapping now attracts death penalty in Oyo, Vanguard, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/04/kidnapping-now-attracts-death-penalty-oyo/, Apr. 13, 2016.
[30] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 37, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[31] First Post Nigeria, Death Penalty For Cultists And Kidnappers In Rivers As Wike Signs 3 Bills Into Law, https://firstpost.ng/death-penalty-cultists-kidnappers-rivers-state-wike-signs-3-bills-law/, Mar. 15, 2018.
[32] Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Nigeria's Katsina state legislates death penalty for kidnappers, rustlers, https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/25/nigeria-s-katsina-state-legislates-death-penalty-for-kidnappers-rustlers//, May 25, 2019. Sahara Reporters, Masari Approves Death Penalty For Cattle Rustlers, Kidnappers In Katsina, http://saharareporters.com/2019/05/24/masari-approves-death-penalty-cattle-rustlers-kidnappers-katsina, May 24, 2019.
[33] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 126 (b), Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’a Penal Code, sec. 126, Jan. 2000.
[34] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 406, 408–409, p. 133 n. 627, p. 134 n. 637, Mar. 2002.
[35] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 130, Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’a Penal Code, sec. 130, Jan. 2000.
[36] The Criminal Code Act of Nigeria defines treachery as follows: “If, with intent to help the enemy in any war in which Nigeria may be engaged, any person does, or attempts to do, any act which is designed or likely to give assistance to the naval, military or air operations of the enemy, to impede such operations of the armed forces of Nigeria, or to endanger life, he shall be guilty of felony [treachery] and shall on conviction suffer death.” Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 49A, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[37] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 37–38, 49A, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[38] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 37(2), Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[39] Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, secs. 410–411, Sep. 30, 1960, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. P3, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[40] The Armed Forces Act of Nigeria defines malingering as follows: “A person subject to service law under this Act who (a) falsely pretends to be suffering from sickness or disability; or (b) injures himself with intent thereby to render himself unfit for duty, or causes himself to be injured by any other person with that intent; or (c) injures any other person subject to service law under this Act at the instance of that person with intent thereby to render that person unfit for duty; or (d) with intent to render or keep himself unfit for service, does or fails to do anything (whether at the time of the act or omission he is in hospital or not) whereby he produces, prolongs or aggravates, any sickness or disability, is guilty of malingering.” Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, sec. 63, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[41] Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, secs. 45, 46, 47, 52, 63, 107, 114, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[42] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 132(b), Mar. 2002.
[43] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 408, Mar. 2002.
[44] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 408–409, Mar. 2002.
[45] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 408, Mar. 2002.
[46] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 413–414, Mar. 2002.
[47] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[48] Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Nigeria's Katsina state legislates death penalty for kidnappers, rustlers, https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/25/nigeria-s-katsina-state-legislates-death-penalty-for-kidnappers-rustlers//, May 25, 2019. Sahara Reporters, Masari Approves Death Penalty For Cattle Rustlers, Kidnappers In Katsina, http://saharareporters.com/2019/05/24/masari-approves-death-penalty-cattle-rustlers-kidnappers-katsina, May 24, 2019.
[49] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 298(a), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[50] The 12 states that adopted Shariah laws into their criminal legislation are Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sep. 2004.
[51] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[52] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004. Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, Sep. 30, 1960, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. P3, Rev. Ed. 2004. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, Mar. 2002. Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004. Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004. Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011, No. 10, Jun. 2, 2011. Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013, Feb. 21, 2013.
[53] In Kebbi state, for instance, the evidentiary requirements to prove adultery include four male Muslim witnesses, a pregnancy, or a confession. In Kano and Katsina states, the conditions for proving adultery or rape in respect of a married person include a valid marriage, consummation of marriage, and four witnesses or a confession. The crimes of sodomy and incest also require four male Muslim witnesses or a confession. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, p. 68 n. 162, p. 69 nn. 172, 174, p. 70 n. 181, Mar. 2002.
[54] Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Terrorism (Prevention) Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill Scales Second Reading in the House of Representatives, https://placng.org/wp/2018/05/terrorism-prevention-act-repeal-and-re-enactment-bill-scales-second-reading-in-the-house-of-representatives/, May 9, 2018.
[55] Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2018.
[56] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004. Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, Sep. 30, 1960, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. P3, Rev. Ed. 2004. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, Mar. 2002. Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004. Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004. Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011, No. 10, Jun. 2, 2011. Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013, Feb. 21, 2013.
[57] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 198–199 (a), Mar. 2002.
[58] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[59] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 316, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[60] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 50, 152(c)(d), 199, Mar. 2002.
[61] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[62] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 199, Mar. 2002.
[63] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 205, Mar. 2002.
[64] Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, sec. 106, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[65] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 316, 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[66] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 316, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[67] Section 207 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria states, “[t]he trial by the ordeal of sasswood, esere-bean, or other poison, boiling oil, fire, immersion in water or exposure to the attacks of crocodiles or other wild animals, or by any ordeal which is likely to result in the death of or bodily injury to any party to the proceeding is unlawful.” Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 207, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[68] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 208, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[69] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 152(c)(d), Mar. 2002.
[70] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 193(a), Mar. 2002.
[71] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 330(2), Mar. 2002.
[72] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 408, Mar. 2002.
[73] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 411, Mar. 2002.
[74] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 407, Mar. 2002.
[75] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 199, Mar. 2002.
[76] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 128(b), Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’ah Penal Code, sec. 129(b), Jan. 2000.
[77] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 402, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[78] Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, sec. 1(2)(3), Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[79] Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, sec. 295(2), Aug. 19, 2011.
[80] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 126 (b), Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’a Penal Code, sec. 126, Jan. 2000.
[81] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 406, 408–409, p. 133 n. 627, p. 134 n. 637, Mar. 2002.
[82] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 130, Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’a Penal Code, sec. 130, Jan. 2000.
[83] The Criminal Code Act of Nigeria defines treachery as follows: “If, with intent to help the enemy in any war in which Nigeria may be engaged, any person does, or attempts to do, any act which is designed or likely to give assistance to the naval, military or air operations of the enemy, to impede such operations of the armed forces of Nigeria, or to endanger life, he shall be guilty of felony [treachery] and shall on conviction suffer death.” Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 49A, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[84] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 37–38, 49A, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[85] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 37(2), Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[86] Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, secs 410–411, Sep. 30, 1960, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. P3, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[87] Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, secs. 52, 107, 114, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[88] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 132(b), Mar. 2002.
[89] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 408, Mar. 2002.
[90] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 408–409, Mar. 2002.
[91] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 408, Mar. 2002.
[92] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 413–414, Mar. 2002.
[93] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 198–199(a), Mar. 2002.
[94] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, Mar. 2002 (compiling the Shariah law of northern states and the Penal Code applicable in northern states).
[95] Afua Hirsch, Nigeria Hangs Four Prisoners, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/25/nigeria-prisoners-hanged-benin-city, June 25, 2013.
[96] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria reportedly hangs four in first executions since 2006, http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/nigeria-reportedly-hangs-four-first-executions-2006-2013-06-24, Jun. 24, 2013. Reuters, Nigeria Hangs Four Prisoners in First Executions since 2006, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/25/us-nigeria-execution-idUSBRE95O0RA20130625, Jun. 25, 2014.
[97] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria reportedly hangs four in first executions since 2006, http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/nigeria-reportedly-hangs-four-first-executions-2006-2013-06-24, Jun. 24, 2013. Reuters, Nigeria Hangs Four Prisoners in First Executions since 2006, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/25/us-nigeria-execution-idUSBRE95O0RA20130625, Jun. 25, 2014.
[98] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 36, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017. Innocent Anaba, Edo executes 3, as Aregbesola grants amnesty to 4 death-row inmates, Vanguard, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/12/edo-executes-3-aregbesola-grants-amnesty-4-death-row-inmates/, Dec. 29, 2016.
[99] Michelle Faul, Lawyer: 3 Nigerian death row inmates secretly executed, AP News, https://apnews.com/d6a7e89923ce45b79fda23caf40b0a4b, Dec. 29, 2016.
[100] Michelle Faul, Lawyer: 3 Nigerian death row inmates secretly executed, AP News, https://apnews.com/d6a7e89923ce45b79fda23caf40b0a4b, Dec. 29, 2016.
[101] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2018. Status, Declaration, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989, https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en, Jul. 30, 2018. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed Jul. 30, 2018.
[102] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 6, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, p. 8, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, p. 7, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, p. 10, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012.
[103] UNICEF, Information Sheet: The Child’s Rights Act, https://www.unicef.org/wcaro/WCARO_Nigeria_Factsheets_CRA.pdf, Aug. 2007.
[104] Child’s Rights Act of Nigeria, 2003, secs. 221, 277, Jul. 31, 2003.
[105] Child Rights International Network, Inhuman Sentencing of Children in Nigeria, p. 1, https://archive.crin.org/en/docs/Nigeria_UPR_CRIN_FINAL.pdf, Mar. 2013.
[106] The News Nigeria, CSO advocates passage of Child Rights Bill in 10 states, http://thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2018/05/cso-advocates-passage-of-child-rights-bill-in-10-states/, May 19, 2018.
[107] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 319(2), Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[108] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 405, May 13, 2015.
[109] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 405, May 13, 2015.
[110] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, secs. 1, 238, p. 234 n. 115, Oct. 2005.
[111] Hudud means offenses or punishments that are fixed under Sharia law, including the death penalty. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 57, Mar. 2002.
[112] Qisas includes punishments inflicted upon offenders by way of retaliation for causing death/injuries to a person. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 58, Mar. 2002.
[113] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 72, Mar. 2002.
[114] Official Website of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Addresses Children who attain the Age of Taklif, https://www.islamicmovement.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1115:sheikh-address-children-who-attain-the-age-of-taklif&catid=41:frontpage, last accessed Sep. 6, 2018.
[115] Amnesty Intl., Executions of Juveniles since 1990 as of March 2018, ACT 50/3832/2016, Apr. 11, 2018.
[116] U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Nigeria, paras. 7, 32–33, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/NGA/CO/3-4, Jun. 11, 2010.
[117] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 6, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, p. 8, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, p. 7, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, p. 10, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012.
[118] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2018. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Jul. 30, 2018.
[119] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 404, May 13, 2015.
[120] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 415, May 13, 2015.
[121] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 240, Oct. 2005.
[122] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 266(1), Oct. 2005.
[123] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 266(2), Oct. 2005.
[124] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[125] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 28, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[126] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 28, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[127] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 278(1), May 13, 2015.
[128] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 278(1), May 13, 2015.
[129] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), Death Penalty and Mental Health in Nigeria, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/articles/91-death-penalty-and-mental-health-in-nigeria, last accessed Jul. 13, 2018.
[130] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[131] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[132] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[133] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[134] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[135] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 28, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[136] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 28, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[137] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 278(1), May 13, 2015.
[138] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 278(1), May 13, 2015.
[139] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), Death Penalty and Mental Health in Nigeria, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/articles/91-death-penalty-and-mental-health-in-nigeria, last accessed Jul. 13, 2018.
[140] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[141] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[142] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[143] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

July 29, 1993. [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

No. [4]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [5]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [6]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [7]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Yes. [8]

Date of Accession

Signed?

Yes. [9]

Date of Signature

August 31, 1982. [10]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Yes. [11]

Date of Accession

December 16, 2004. [12]

Signed?

Yes. [13]

Date of Signature

December 16, 2003. [14]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Yes. [15]

Date of Accession

July 23, 2001. [16]

Signed?

Yes. [17]

Date of Signature

July 13, 1999. [18]

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2018 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [19]

Vote

Abstained. [20]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [21]

Vote

Abstained. [22]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [23]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [24]

Vote

Abstained. [25]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [26]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [27]

Vote

Abstained. [28]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [29]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [30]

Vote

Abstained. [31]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [32]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [33]

Vote

Against. [34]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [35]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [36]

Vote

Against. [37]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [38]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[8] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[9] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[10] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[11] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[12] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[13] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[14] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[15] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification/, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[16] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification/, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[17] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification/, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[18] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification/, last accessed Jul. 10, 2018.
[19] U.N.G.A. 73rd session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, para. 135, U.N. Doc. A/73/589/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2018.
[20] U.N.G.A. 73rd session, 55th plenary meeting, p. 32, U.N. Doc. A/73/PV.55, Dec. 17, 2018.
[21] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54–71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[22] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54–71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[23] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[24] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[25] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17–18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[26] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[27] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95–96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[28] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16–17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[29] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[30] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010
[31] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18–19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[32] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[34] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16–17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[35] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[36] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, pp. 3–4, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[37] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16–17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[38] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

The Constitution provides that no one may be deprived of life except “in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.” [1] It also provides that appeal from a sentence of death pronounced by a Federal High Court lies as of right to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court. [2] An appeal of right is one that the higher court must hear if the appellant demands it. [3]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

The Preamble to the Constitution declares that the people of Nigeria are “dedicated to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding.” [4] The Constitution further provides that a foreign policy objective of Nigeria is to respect international law and treaty obligations. [5]

In 2009, then-Chief Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi signed into law the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules under Chapter IV of the Constitution, emphasizing the obligation of national courts to apply international human rights treaties when considering fundamental rights. [6] Pursuant to these Rules, federal and state High Courts [7] are instructed to respect “regional and international bills of rights,” [8] including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its protocols, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other instruments in the United Nations human rights system. [9] Moreover, fundamental rights contained in the Constitution and in the African Charter are to be “expansively and purposely interpreted and applied, with a view to advancing and realising the rights and freedoms contained in them.” [10] Pursuant to these Rules, advocates, activists, lawyers, and non-governmental organizations may institute human rights applications on behalf of any potential applicant. [11] Courts must encourage public interest litigation and cannot strike any human rights case for lack of standing. [12] Human rights cases are to be given priority, and any case involving the liberty of a person “shall be treated as an emergency.” [13] The Rules provide that human rights applications are not affected by limitation statutes. [14]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

While more than 2,600 people were convicted and executed between 1970 and 1999, the rate of executions dropped dramatically after the fall of the military government in May 1999. [15] From May 1999 to 2006, Amnesty estimates that at least 22 people were executed. [16] In June 2013, former President Goodluck Jonathan urged state Governors to sign death warrants for death row prisoners. [17] Four executions took place shortly after in Edo state, [18] ending a 7-year hiatus on executions. All four individuals still had appeals pending when they were executed, according to their lawyers, in violation of Nigerian and international law. [19] Nigeria executed three individuals in 2016 in Edo state for armed robbery under the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act. [20]

Between 2000 and 2002, 12 northern states adopted Shariah laws into their criminal legislation. [21] The Shariah penal codes created new capital offenses including adultery (zina), [22] rape (if the offender is married), [23] incest (if the offender is married), [24] and homosexual sodomy. [25] Between 2009 and 2018, at least 15 states adopted legislation making kidnapping a capital offense. [26] In March 2018, Rivers state amended its laws to impose capital punishment for cultism and kidnapping. [27]

On the international stage, Nigeria continues to demonstrate its attachment to the death penalty. In 2007 and 2008, Nigeria voted against UNGA Moratorium resolutions, which call for the establishment of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. [28] From then to 2016, Nigeria has abstained from voting on the UNGA Moratorium resolutions, but has consistently signed the Note Verbale disagreeing with the premise of the resolution along with other pro-death penalty states. [29]

Nigeria continues to impose death sentences including mandatory death sentences for numerous crimes. [30] At least 46 sentences were imposed in 2018 and 621 in 2017. [31] By the end of 2018, Nigeria’s death row of at least 2,000 inmates was the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. [32] In 2017, the Senate passed a bill prescribing the death penalty for abduction. [33]

In July 2017, state governors agreed to address prison overcrowding by signing execution warrants or commuting death sentences. [34] A year later, the National Economic Council reiterated that state governors should take action regarding death row inmates to ease prison congestion in the country. [35] Bauchi state governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, stated that death row inmates posed a threat to the prison system and that the need to carry out sentences was imminent. [36] Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, asked state governors to act in line with section 212 of the Nigerian Constitution, [37] which gives governors the power to review cases and grant mercy. [38]

According to collated news sources, pardons and commutations of death sentences occur at both the federal and state levels. In January 2000, for instance, former President Obasanjo issued a federal amnesty, ordering the pardon and release of prisoners who had been on death row for over 20 years and commutations to life imprisonment for those who had been on death row for 10 to 20 years. [39] In 2010, former Delta state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, pardoned 90 death row inmates. [40] The Nigerian Prisons Service reported that 33 pardons were granted in 2016 [41] and 17 in 2017. [42] More recently, in March 2018, Delta state governor, Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, commuted the death sentences of 30 inmates to life imprisonment. [43] According to different sources, state Governors usually grant clemency during national holidays. [44] In 2018, 32 death row inmates got their sentences commuted and 16 were granted pardon. [45]

As of June 2018, Nigeria’s House of Representatives was considering a bill to enact the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act of 2018, which would repeal the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011. [46] The bill prescribes the death penalty for the following crimes: (1) an offense that results in the death of an internationally protected person, including diplomatic agents, [47] and (2) kidnapping, hijacking, or hostage taking resulting in death. [48] Further, the bill prescribes the mandatory death penalty for the following: (1) an offense against the safety of ships or fixed platforms resulting in death; [49] (2) an offense perpetrated with explosives or other lethal devices resulting in death; [50] and (3) the handling—receiving, possessing, transferring or disposing—of radioactive or nuclear materials which result in death. [51]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

There is no legislative or executive moratorium on executions in Nigeria. The last executions were carried out in 2016. [52] Nevertheless, in November 2018, during the third Universal Periodic Review cycle, Nigeria reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council that “efforts were ongoing between the federal Government and the state governments to formalize a moratorium on the death penalty.” [53]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

In 1986, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the execution of Nasiru Bello, which took place while his appeal was still pending before the Court of Appeal, was unconstitutional. [54] This ruling prevents executions from taking place unless a prisoner has exhausted the appeals process, provided the prisoner files an appeal. [55] Under the Constitution, appeals against death sentences are as of right. [56] Despite this precedent, people have been executed while their appeals were still pending. [57]

In 1997, in Nemi v. Attorney-General of Lagos State, the Court of Appeal held that a prisoner on death row should not be subjected to torture, inhumane, or degrading treatment arising from a prolonged delay in carrying out his/her death sentence. [58]

In 1998, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty in Kalu v. State as long as it is imposed for a criminal offense by a court of law. [59]

In 2005, the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of Solola v. State held that a prisoner sentenced to death by a High Court must exhaust all appeals before the President or Governor of a state can grant clemency. [60] A death-sentenced inmate can only be executed after all appeals are exhausted. [61] This ruling was in line with the 2001 case of Obidike v. State, in which the Court of Appeal (Enugu Division) held that a presidential pardon should come only after all appeals are completed. [62] Nigeria’s Supreme Court, in a 2007 appeal on a 1985 judgment from the state of Lagos, declined to rule on the constitutionality of the death penalty for armed robbery, instead overturning a conviction on narrower evidentiary grounds. [63]

In 2012, the High Court of Lagos State, the highest appellate court in the state, held in Ajulu v. Attorney General of Lagos that executions by hanging or firing squad are unconstitutional as they violate the prisoner’s right to dignity and right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment. [64]

In 2015 in Taslim v. State, the Court of Appeal in the Lagos Judicial Division upheld that a “free and voluntary” confession is sufficient proof of guilt to convict a defendant on criminal charges—murder in this case—provided that the court is satisfied that the confession is true. [65] Corroboration of a confession is required only where there is doubt as to the voluntariness of the confession. [66] Further, the Court of Appeal ruled that the retraction of a confession—as it happened in this case—does not render it inadmissible. [67] The Court dismissed the appeal on all grounds. [68]

While we did not find court opinions by Shariah courts, the former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Summary, Extrajudicial and Arbitrary Executions reported in 2006 that Shariah Courts of Appeal exercised review to limit the application of the death penalty, overturning a number of sentences on the grounds that the state’s evidence failed to meet Shariah standards. As of 2006, the federal government’s position was that states applying Shariah law for offenses relating to sexual morality are acting unconstitutionally, [69] but this issue has not come up for constitutional review.

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

The Nigerian Supreme Court’s Judgment Information System has selected cases from 1961 to 2012 and can be searched by title or date (http://judgment.supremecourt.gov.ng/judgment.php).

Decisions from the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory can be searched by year in its website (http://fcthighcourtelibrary.com/decisions/).

The website of the Federal High Courts was under construction at the time of research but may in future include judicial decisions (http://www.fhc-ng.com/cr.htm).

A few recent judgments are available on the website of the Court of Appeals (http://www.courtofappeal.gov.ng).

Judgments from death penalty cases tried at the state level may also be available on the websites of the relevant courts. The website of the Lagos judiciary, for instance, hosts some judicial decisions (https://lagosjudiciary.gov.ng/search.aspx).

There is no government case law reporting and of the many case reporters published privately over the years, none has lasted long enough to become a single comprehensive source. [70] A list of Nigerian court reports appears in the GlobaLex guide to Nigerian legal research by Yemisi Dina et al. titled “UPDATE: Guide to Nigerian Legal Information” (http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Nigeria1.html#LawReports).

What is the clemency process?

According to the Nigerian Constitution, the President and state governors have the power to grant pardons and commute death sentences. [71] The President may pardon, suspend, or decrease any punishment imposed under a law passed by the National Assembly after consultation with the Council of State. [72] The President may also exercise these powers with respect to death sentences issued by military courts. [73] Governors exercise similar powers with respect to punishments imposed under state law after consultation with a state advisory council (if one is established). [74]

Pursuant to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015, prisoners may petition for clemency when they have exhausted all appeals, have failed to exercise their legal rights of appeal, or have failed to complete the application for appeal within the time prescribed by law. [75] In 2005, the Supreme Court of Nigeria held that the President or Governor of a state cannot grant clemency to a prisoner convicted of murder and sentenced to death by a High Court before all appeals are exhausted. [76] A death-sentenced inmate can be executed only after exhausting all appeals. [77] This ruling was in line with a 2001 case, in which the Court of Appeal (Enugu Division) held that a presidential pardon should only come after appeals have been heard and determined. [78]

Defendants—who often spend many years in prison awaiting trial—can submit pre-conviction clemency petitions to the Chief Justice or the Attorney General asking them to drop the charges. [79] Post-conviction clemency petitions are sent to the Prerogative Committee of the state or, in the absence of this committee, to the state governor. [80] Inmates can file a clemency petition on various grounds, including unreasonable delay before trial or health-related problems. Strategic attorneys typically apply for clemency in dates coinciding with national holidays or other celebrations. [81] In 2018, 16 death row inmates were granted pardons. [82]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No. In Nigeria, individuals facing capital charges are tried before one High Court judge. [83] There is no jury. [84]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

The Supreme Court is the highest court followed by the Court of Appeal, which entertains appeals from the decisions of the High Courts, the Shariah Courts of Appeal, and the Customary Courts of Appeal. [85] Appeals from the decisions of the Court of Appeal go to the Supreme Court. High Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction. Shariah courts and customary courts are the lowest courts and operate alongside state courts in the common law system. [86] The doctrine of judicial precedent, or stare decisis, does not apply rigidly in customary and Shariah courts. [87]

Individuals charged with capital offenses are tried in the federal and state High Courts. [88] Appeals against a capital conviction or sentence lie as of right to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court. [89] This means that the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court must hear the case if the appellant demands it. Further, judgments issued by military courts can be appealed to the Court of Appeal. [90]

The appellate courts have discretion to admit new evidence on appeal. [91] The case of Okoro v. Egbuoh outlines the requirements: (1) the new evidence must be such that it could not have been obtained for use at trial; (2) if admitted, the new evidence would have an important effect, not necessarily crucial, on the whole case; and (3) the new evidence must be creditable. [92]

Shariah courts may try Muslims or individuals who consent to the jurisdiction of a Shariah court for criminal offenses in 12 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory. [93] There are four classes of Shariah criminal courts: (1) Shariah Courts, (2) Higher Shariah Courts, (3) Upper Shariah Courts, and (4) Shariah Courts of Appeal. [94] Judges (alkalis) [95] of Upper Shariah Courts may pass any sentence, [96] whereas judges of Shariah Courts and Higher Shariah Courts may not pass death sentences, including retributive death sentences (qisas). [97] The Upper Shariah Courts also have appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from cases tried in the lower courts. [98] Shariah Courts of Appeal hear appeals on decisions by the Upper Shariah Courts. [99] Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the decision. [100] At least three judges should sit on the Shariah Court of Appeal. [101]

Decisions from a Shariah Court of Appeal can be appealed to the federal Court of Appeal in any civil proceedings with respect to any question of Islamic personal law. [102] It is unclear, however, if criminal cases decided by Shariah Courts of Appeal can be appealed as of right to the federal Court of Appeal and to the Supreme Court. [103] Constitutionally, the jurisdiction of the Shariah Court of Appeal pertains only to civil matters under Islamic personal law, although the law of a state may confer additional jurisdiction to the court. [104] In 2016, a bill was introduced in the National Assembly to reform articles 262 and 277 of the Constitution to extend the jurisdiction of Shariah Courts of Appeal to criminal matters. [105] As of November 2017, no challenges had reached the Court of Appeals regarding the constitutionality of Shariah penal codes. [106]

References

[1] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 33(1), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[2] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, secs. 233(2)(d), 241(1)(e), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[3] Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School, Appeal, https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/appeal, last accessed Jul. 17, 2018.
[4] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Preamble, May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[5] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 19(d), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[6] Abdulwahab Abdulah, Innovations in new Fundamental Rights Rule, Vanguard, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2010/02/innovations-in-new-fundamental-rights-rule/, Feb. 4, 2010.
[7] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, Order 1 – Application and Interpretation, sec. 2, Nov. 11, 2009.
[8] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, Preamble, sec. 3(b), Nov. 11, 2009.
[9] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, sec. 3(b), Nov. 11, 2009.
[10] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, Preamble, sec. 3(a), Nov. 11, 2009.
[11] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, Preamble, sec. 3(e), Nov. 11, 2009.
[12] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, Preamble, sec. 3(e), Nov. 11, 2009.
[13] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, Preamble, sec. 3(g), Nov. 11, 2009.
[14] Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, Order III – Limitation of Action, sec. 1, Nov. 11, 2009.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: ‘Waiting for the Hangman,’ p. 36, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: ‘Waiting for the Hangman,’ p. 37, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria executions: “They almost executed him secretly”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/nigeria-death-penalty-feature-2013-06-28, Jun. 28, 2013.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria executions: “They almost executed him secretly”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/nigeria-death-penalty-feature-2013-06-28, Jun. 28, 2013.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 45, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Nigeria executions: “They almost executed him secretly”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/nigeria-death-penalty-feature-2013-06-28, Jun. 28, 2013.
[20] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 36, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017. Innocent Anaba, Edo executes 3, as Aregbesola grants amnesty to 4 death-row inmates, Vanguard, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/12/edo-executes-3-aregbesola-grants-amnesty-4-death-row-inmates/, Dec. 29, 2016.
[21] The 12 states that adopted Shariah laws into their criminal legislation are Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sep. 2004.
[22] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 126, Mar. 2002.
[23] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 128(b), Mar. 2002.
[24] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 132(b), Mar. 2002.
[25] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 130, Mar. 2002.
[26] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 23, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 45, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, pp. 60–61, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016. Kogi Reports, Kogi Approves Death Penalty For Kidnappers, Accomplices, http://kogireports.com/kogi-approves-death-penalty-for-kidnappers-accomplices/, Jul. 11, 2015. Ola Ajavi, Kidnapping now attracts death penalty in Oyo, Vanguard, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/04/kidnapping-now-attracts-death-penalty-oyo/, Apr. 13, 2016. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 37, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018. Premium Times, Delta assembly amends punishment for kidnapping from death penalty to life imprisonment, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/south-south-regional/206228-delta-assembly-amends-punishment-kidnapping-death-penalty-life-imprisonment.html, Jun. 30, 2016.
[27] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[28] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16–17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007. U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16–17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[29] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18–19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010. U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16–17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012. U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17–18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014. U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54–71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[30] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 8, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[31] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 36, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[32] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, pp. 41, 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[33] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Still No Accountability for Human Rights Violations, p. 10, AFR 44/8529/2018, Mar. 1, 2018.
[34] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 36–37, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[35] Ismail Mudashir, NEC Asks Governors To Act On 2,359 Condemned Convicts, Sahara Reporters, http://saharareporters.com/2018/07/20/nec-asks-governors-act-2359-condemned-convicts, Jul. 20, 2018. Blueprint Newspaper, Governors and convicts on death row, https://www.blueprint.ng/governors-convicts-death-row/, Jul. 30, 2018.
[36] Ismail Mudashir, NEC Asks Governors To Act On 2,359 Condemned Convicts, Sahara Reporters, http://saharareporters.com/2018/07/20/nec-asks-governors-act-2359-condemned-convicts, Jul. 20, 2018. Blueprint Newspaper, Governors and convicts on death row, https://www.blueprint.ng/governors-convicts-death-row/, Jul. 30, 2018.
[37] Ismail Mudashir, NEC Asks Governors To Act On 2,359 Condemned Convicts, Sahara Reporters, http://saharareporters.com/2018/07/20/nec-asks-governors-act-2359-condemned-convicts, Jul. 20, 2018. Blueprint Newspaper, Governors and convicts on death row, https://www.blueprint.ng/governors-convicts-death-row/, Jul. 30, 2018.
[38] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 212, May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[39] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: ‘Waiting for the Hangman,’ p. 23, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[40] Eleanor Whitehead, Nigeria's addiction to the death sentence, https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/08/nigeria-addiction-death-sentence-150804123550934.html, Aug. 11, 2015.
[41] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 38, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[42] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 36, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[43] Matthew Omonigho, Gov. Okowa pardons 5 prison inmates, lifts death sentences on 30 others in Delta, http://dailypost.ng/2018/03/28/gov-okowa-pardons-5-prison-inmates-lifts-death-sentences-30-others-delta/, Mar. 18, 2018.
[44] Aileru Olayinka, Legal aid act 2011, untapped goldmine in decongesting Nigerian prisons, The Guardian, https://guardian.ng/features/law/legal-aid-act-2011-untapped-goldmine-in-decongesting-nigerian-prisons/, May. 10, 2016. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[45] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[46] Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Terrorism (Prevention) Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill Scales Second Reading in the House of Representatives, https://placng.org/wp/2018/05/terrorism-prevention-act-repeal-and-re-enactment-bill-scales-second-reading-in-the-house-of-representatives/, May 9, 2018.
[47] Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2018, sec. 6(1)(2)(b), 2018.
[48] Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2018, sec. 18(1)(2)(b), 2018.
[49] Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2018, sec. 31(1)(2), 2018.
[50] Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2018, sec. 37(1)(2), 2018.
[51] Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2018, sec. 38(1)(2), 2018.
[52] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 36, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[53] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, para. 20, A/HRC/40/7, Dec. 26, 2018.
[54] Bello v. Attorney General of Oyo State, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, SC 104/1985, Dec. 5, 1986.
[55] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: ‘Waiting for the Hangman,’ p. 34, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[56] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, secs. 233(2)(d), 241(1)(e), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018. Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Waiting for the Hangman, p. 42, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[57] Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP condemns the killing of three death row prisoners in Nigeria, http://www.worldcoalition.org/LEDAP-condemns-the-killing-of-three-death-row-prisoners-in-Nigeria.html, Dec. 28, 2016.
[58] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), HURILAWS Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/press-releases/101-hurilaws-statement-on-world-day-against-the-death-penalty, Oct. 10, 2018. The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), Public Interest Litigation, http://www.hurilaws.org/programmes/public-interest-litigation, last accessed Oct. 24, 2018.
[59] Kalu v. State, p. 414, SC 24/1996, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, Dec. 18, 1998.
[60] Solola v. State, pp. 488–489 paras. H-B, SC. 268/2003, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, May 13, 2005.
[61] Solola v. State, pp. 488–489 paras. H-B, SC. 268/2003, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, May 13, 2005.
[62] Obidike v. State, p. 648, paras. E-F, CA/E/35/97, Ct. of Appeal of Nigeria (Enugu Division), Jul. 18, 2001.
[63] Olayinka v. State, S.C. 279/2003, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, Apr. 20, 2007.
[64] Ajulu v. Attorney General of Lagos State, Suit No. ID/76M/2008, High Ct. of Lagos State, Jun. 29, 2012.
[65] Taslim v. State, p. 50, CA/L/47/2012, Ct. of Appeal of Nigeria (Lagos Division), Feb. 6, 2015.
[66] Taslim v. State, p. 45, CA/L/47/2012, Ct. of Appeal of Nigeria (Lagos Division), Feb. 6, 2015.
[67] Taslim v. State, p. 50, CA/L/47/2012, Ct. of Appeal of Nigeria (Lagos Division), Feb. 6, 2015. The Court stated that to decide whether or not to convict a defendant based on a confession, especially when the statement is retracted, the courts should ask four questions: “(1) Is there anything outside the confession to show that it is true? (2) Is it corroborated? (3) Are the relevant statements made in it of facts, true as far as they can be tested? (4) Was the prisoner one who had the opportunity of committing the murder?” Taslim v. State, pp. 50-51, CA/L/47/2012, Ct. of Appeal of Nigeria (Lagos Division), Feb. 6, 2015.
[68] Taslim v. State, p. 52, CA/L/47/2012, Ct. of Appeal of Nigeria (Lagos Division), Feb. 6, 2015.
[69] For example, U.N. Commn on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Summary, Extrajudicial or Arbitrary Executions, Philip Alston, paras. 21–26, 32–28, E/CN.4/2006/53/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2006.
[70] Yemisi Dina, John Akintayo & Funke Ekundayo, UPDATE: Guide to Nigerian Legal Information, Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Nigeria1.html, Dec. 2015.
[71] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 175(1)(2), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[72] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 175(1)(2), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[73] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 175(3), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[74] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 212, May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[75] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 409(1)(a), May 13, 2015.
[76] Solola v. State, pp. 488–489 paras. H–B, SC. 268/2003, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, May 13, 2005.
[77] Solola v. State, pp. 488–489 paras. H–B, SC. 268/2003, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, May 13, 2005.
[78] Obidike v. State, p. 648, paras. E–F, CA/E/35/97, Ct. of Appeal of Nigeria (Enugu Division), Jul. 18, 2001.
[79] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[80] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[81] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[82] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[83] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[84] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, secs. 249, 255, 270, May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018. Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, secs. 401–407, May 13, 2015.
[85] Yemisi Dina, John Akintayo & Funke Ekundayo, UPDATE: Guide to Nigerian Legal Information, Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Nigeria1.html, Dec. 2015. Marci Hoffman, Nigeria – Legal System, Foreign Law Guide Brill Reference Online, https://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/foreign-law-guide/nigeria-legal-system-COM_323353#note5, last accessed Sep. 27, 2018.
[86] Yemisi Dina, John Akintayo & Funke Ekundayo, UPDATE: Guide to Nigerian Legal Information, Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Nigeria1.html, Dec. 2015.
[87] Yemisi Dina, John Akintayo & Funke Ekundayo, UPDATE: Guide to Nigerian Legal Information, Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Nigeria1.html, Dec. 2015.
[88] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, secs. 251, 272(1), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[89] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, secs. 233(2)(d), 241(1)(e), 251, 272(1), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[90] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 240, May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[91] Okoro v. Egbuoh, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, S.C. 395/2001, Jun. 30, 2006.
[92] Okoro v. Egbuoh, Supreme Ct. of Nigeria, S.C. 395/2001, Jun. 30, 2006.
[93] The 12 states that adopted Shariah laws into their criminal legislation are Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, p. 14, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sep. 2004.
[94] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 4, Oct. 2005.
[95] “Alkali” means a judge of any of the Shariah Courts. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 1, Oct. 2005.
[96] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 14. Oct. 2005.
[97] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, secs. 15(c), 16(c), Oct. 2005. Harmonised Sharia Criminal Code, sec. 93(1)(i)(ix)(xviii), Mar. 2002.
[98] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 247(2)(a), Oct. 2005.
[99] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 247(2)(b), Oct. 2005.
[100] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, sec. 248(2), Oct. 2005.
[101] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 278, May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[102] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 244, May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[103] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, secs. 233(2)(d), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018. Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, p. 18, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sep. 2004. Daniel E. Agbiboa, Sharia and the Nigerian Constitution: Strange Bedfellows?, http://www.constitutionnet.org/news/sharia-and-nigerian-constitution-strange-bedfellows, Apr. 16, 2015.
[104] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, art 262(1), 277(1), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[105] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2016, secs. 1–5, Apr. 2016.
[106] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 13, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Male death-row inmates are held in Enugu Prison, Kirikiri Prison, Ibara Prison, Kaduna Prison, Kano Prison, Port Harcourt Prison, and Benin City Prison. [1]

Lagos Kirikiri Female Prison, Port Harcourt Prison, Ibara Prison, Enugu Prison, and Ondo prison house death sentenced-women. [2]

Description of Prison Conditions

Nigeria’s prisons house thousands of death-sentenced prisoners. [3] Death row prisoners are held in 7 by 8 feet cells, which they share with two to four other people. [4] The cells are dark and lack proper ventilation. [5] Inmates sleep on the bare floor and use buckets as toilets. [6] An official from the Nigerian Prison Service, speaking anonymously, claimed that the cells for death row inmates are overcrowded across the entire country. [7] Prisons are so overcrowded that in July 2017, the National Economic Council of Nigeria directed state governors to sign execution warrants for death row inmates or commute death sentences to ease prison congestion. [8] Since May 29, 1999, most state governors have failed, refused, or neglected to sign execution warrants. [9] In 2017, Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umokoro, declared that easing congestion via executions was necessary and should be carried out without further delay. [10] That same year, death row prisoners reported that execution gallows were being prepared for executions in Benin and Lagos prisons. [11]

Death row conditions vary from prison to prison. In some prisons, death row inmates are restricted to their cells throughout most of the day, but in others prisoners are allowed outside their cells during the day. [12] Death-sentenced prisoners do not know when they will be executed. [13] Prisoners who have exhausted the appeals process are often held in a section of the jail where they can see gallows. [14] Some death-sentenced inmates have been on death row for 20 years or more. [15] Many death row prisoners have developed mental illnesses while on death row. [16] Furthermore, individuals accused of death-eligible crimes are forced to wait long periods of time before trial. [17]

In general, prison conditions are harsh, traumatic, and life-threatening throughout the country. [18] Most of Nigeria’s prisons were built 70 to 100 years ago. [19] Although the official prison capacity is of 50,153 inmates, [20] as of May 2019 there were 73,192 inmates, out of whom 49,942 (68%) were prisoners awaiting trial. [21] Lack of potable water and inadequate sewage facilities result in dangerous and unsanitary conditions. [22] Ventilation is insufficient and diseases are rampant. Many prisoners have died of treatable diseases—such as malaria and tuberculosis—because of inadequate medical facilities and treatment. [23] The food provided is insufficient and of poor quality. [24] Prison officials reportedly often deny inmates food and medical treatment as measures of punishment or extortion. [25] Only prisoners with money or support from outside prison have enough food. Female inmates report facing threats of rape. [26] Violence, abuse, extortion, and torture are common. [27] Mental health services are almost nonexistent. [28] Some prison officials have used private donations to provide mental health facilities for prisoners with mental disabilities. All prisoners with disabilities are held with the general inmate population and receive no specialized care. [29]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

By the end of 2017, there were at least four foreign nationals on death row in Nigeria. [30]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

We did not find information regarding the nationalities of the four foreign nationals that were on death row in Nigeria by the end of 2017. Mr. Yaro Bako from Benin Republic was on death row in the Lagos Kirikiri Prison as of October 2018. [31]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

In 2015, there were at least 32 women on death row in Nigeria. [32]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

In 2017, Amnesty International reported that juvenile offenders convicted in previous years remained on death row in Nigeria. [33] In 2010, there were 40 death row inmates believed to have been under the age of 18 at the time of the offense. [34] We did not find updated information regarding the exact number of juvenile offenders on death row. Further, Nigeria is one of nine countries that has executed at least one juvenile since 1990. [35] Nigeria executed Chiebore Onuoha in 1997, who was 15 at the time of the offense and 17 at the time of execution. [36]

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) reports that most of the juveniles on death row in Nigeria have been convicted based on coerced confessions extracted by the police. [37] For instance, the Nigerian army arrested 16-year-old Moses Akatugba in 2005 for armed robbery. [38] After shooting, beating, and torturing him, he was transferred to the police in Delta State. The police tortured Moses again and forced him to sign two confessions, which formed the basis of his conviction and death sentence. In 2015, after spending ten years in prison, Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, granted a pardon to Moses. [39]

In 2015, after spending ten years in prison and 5 years on death row, Lagos Court of Appeal acquitted Sopuruchi Obed and Oto-Bong, who were 17 years old when arrested in 2004. They were convicted and sentenced to death for armed robbery in 2009 on allegations that they were seen with other young men at a bar celebrating their illegal acts. There were no witnesses to the robbery. [40]

In June 2014, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice issued a judgment holding that the death sentence of Maimuna Abdulmumini, who was convicted of murdering her husband at the age of 13, was a violation of international law and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The ECOWAS Court ordered a stay of execution and awarded Maimuna damages. [41] In 2016, Maimuna was released from prison. [42]

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

We did not find any reports of racial or ethnic disparity in the application of the death penalty. Nevertheless, an identifiable disparity in capital sentencing in Nigeria derives from the application of Shariah law in some northern states. [43] Muslims in Nigeria can be convicted for offenses that are punishable by death exclusively under Shariah law. [44] For instance, only a Muslim can be sentenced to death for adultery, [45] incest, [46] or sodomy. [47] Likewise, only a Muslim can be sentenced to death by stoning. [48] The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion stated that such provisions “opened the possibility of criminalization of conversion and therefore raised concern about the right to freedom of religion.” [49] For instance, in 2002 Ahmadu Ibrahim and Fatima Usman were convicted for adultery and sentenced to death by stoning in Niger State. They were eventually released on bail. [50] In Bauchi State, Yunusa Chiyawa was sentenced to death for adultery by stoning in 2002. His sentence was overturned in 2003 by a Shariah upper court when Yunusa withdrew his confession. [51] In Kebbi state, Attahiru Umaru was sentenced to death by stoning for sodomy. [52] More recently, in 2016 a Shariah court in Kano state sentenced to death a Nigerian cleric by hanging for blasphemy. [53] Sani Yakubu Rodi was the first and, to date, the only known person to be executed in Nigeria after being convicted for murder by a Shariah court. He was hanged in Kaduna prison in 2002 at age 21. [54]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

The National Assembly enacted the Legal Aid Act (2011) to facilitate access to legal representation for indigent defendants through the Legal Aid Council. [55] The Legal Aid Act provides that the Criminal Defence Service will assist indigent persons involved in criminal proceedings, [56] including cases of murder, manslaughter, rape, armed robbery, and assault occasioning bodily harm. [57] In exceptional circumstances, the Board of the Legal Aid Council may grant legal services to a person who earns more than the minimum wage. [58]

The Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015) provides that a defendant charged with a capital offense shall not be allowed to represent and defend himself. [59] Indigent defendants in capital trials are provided with a lawyer from the Office of the Public Defender or the Legal Aid Council. Although no legal fees are available for private lawyers, they sometimes represent indigent defendants on a pro bono basis. [60]

In practice, however, poor and indigent defendants struggle to access legal representation in Nigeria. [61] According to in-country experts, legal aid is difficult to come by. [62] When funds are set aside by the District Attorney for legal aid attorneys, compensation is at approximately 10% of the usual rate. [63] Federal legal aid is usually supplied by overworked, inexperienced lawyers who quickly transition to civil litigation practice. [64] People who seek legal aid through other means such as NGOs or via a court appointment may experience delays. [65] In-country experts report that it is uncommon for a defendant to have access to an attorney soon after arrest and that lawyers are generally not present during police interrogations. [66]

Angela Uwandu, Head of Office of Avocats Sans Frontières France in Nigeria, states that “poor offenders cannot hire the services of experienced lawyers to defend them in court, thereby denying them their right of defence.” [67] Similarly, Sylvester Uhaa, Executive Director of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), explains that the majority of death row inmates cannot afford good legal representation. [68] In recent years, clinical programs in Nigeria have started to provide legal assistance to indigent defendants. [69]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

The Legal Aid Act (2011) specifies that the Criminal Defence Service will assist indigent persons involved in criminal proceedings whether at first instance or on appeal. In practice, however, the Legal Aid Council and the Office of Public Defender rarely give counsel to indigent defendants at the appellate level. [70] According to Angela Uwandu, Head of Office of Avocats Sans Frontières France in Nigeria, “most persons who have been sentenced to death are unable to challenge their convictions on appeal due to the exorbitant costs of appeals at both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court systems.” [71] Since defendants are not allowed to represent themselves pro se on appeal, effectively only wealthy defendants can file for appeal. [72]

Once in prison, it is very difficult for defendants to find a pro bono lawyer. Death-sentenced prisoners whose trial lawyers do not actively follow up on an appeal may spend years on death row without starting appeal proceedings or seeing them move forward. There are few non-governmental organizations committed to providing free legal services to indigent defendants at the appellate courts. [73]

An in-country expert reported that access to appeals usually depends on money, and that legal aid or pro bono attorneys usually only handle trials. [74] Domestic and international charitable intervention has been effective in affording some defendants an appeal. [75] Our source corroborates that appeals for indigents tend to be the domain of NGOs. [76]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

Prison overcrowding is partly due to the lack of legal representation for accused persons. Many prisoners, including death row inmates, cannot afford to hire a lawyer. In many cases, inmates spend more time awaiting trial than the number of years they would spend in prison if convicted. [77] In Nigeria, as of May 2019 there were 49,942, or 68% of the total inmate population, awaiting trial. [78] In other instances, inmates do not even have a case file assigned to them. [79] In-country experts note that there are few attorneys who specialize in criminal defense work and that the government sometimes appoints inexperienced attorneys to represent those facing capital charges. [80] Lawyers often face backlash for representing defendants charged with crimes that carry the death penalty. [81]

Due to financial restraints and police intimidation, defense attorneys do not carry out independent investigations, and police investigative work is precursory at best. [82] Public defenders usually meet their clients for less than 30 minutes before trial, they typically do not call any witnesses, and they do not hire experts because of a lack of resources. [83]

When attorneys do visit their client before trial, they are not always allowed to meet in private in police stations or prisons. [84] Prison wardens do not take inmates to court, arguing that they lack the transportation means or resources to do so. In some cases, prison wardens will only bring the defendant to court if the defendant’s family pays for the gas. [85] Further, witnesses are often afraid to appear in court because of fear of retaliation, or unable to attend due to financial or time constraints. It is not uncommon for witnesses to refuse to attend a court trial unless they are paid. [86] The absence of defendants and/or witnesses causes repeated delays in court proceedings, which can lead to trials lasting between five to ten years. [87] Moreover, lawyers are often required to perform multiple functions in court such as manually record proceedings, translate, listen to witness testimony, and formulate cross-examination questions on the spot, as most judges do not tolerate adjournment for cross-examination purposes. [88]

In Nigeria, it is both difficult and expensive to access case law—many files are missing or have been damaged. [89] In some cases, authorities destroy the evidence that incriminates the police and/or exonerates the defendant. [90] Due to a lack of resources, the police typically do not use forensic testing in their investigation. [91] In some occasions, the defense may have to bear the costs of forensic testing (such as autopsies) to prepare an adequate defense. [92]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

Until May 1999, Nigeria was ruled by a military government under which individuals were sentenced to death for common offenses by special tribunals and denied the right to appeal. [93] More than 2,600 executions were carried out by military governments between 1970 and 1999. [94]

Human rights abuses within Nigeria’s criminal justice system are common. [95] Amnesty International documented hundreds of allegations of torture or other ill-treatment in police custody. [96] Suspects are often arrested arbitrarily and kept in incommunicado detention. They are not informed of their rights, they have no access to lawyers, and they are detained for years without a trial. [97] The majority of the accused are poor or come from situations of vulnerability. [98] It is common for police officers to extract confessions during pre-trial detention when prisoners have no access to a lawyer. [99] Inmates’ lack of economic resources, paired with an ill-functioning legal aid system, severely hinders their access to quality legal representation. [100]

Given the lack of adequate resources to investigate crimes, the Nigerian police often relies on confessional statements to prosecute suspects. [101] Those accused of serious crimes such as murder or armed robbery, which carry the death penalty, are at higher risk of being tortured to obtain a confession. [102] The Nigerian Evidence Act (2011) provides that any confession obtained by oppression—including torture, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and the use or threat of violence whether or not amounting to torture—shall not be allowed in court. [103] Nevertheless, lawyers report that in most cases the police continue to rely on coerced confessions, which are ultimately the basis for convictions and sentences. [104] Under the Evidence Act, the court can require the prosecution to prove that a confession was lawfully obtained, which is usually done as a “trial within a trial.” [105] This motion, however, is discretionary. [106] In many cases, in the absence of legal representation, claims about torture are not raised before the court. [107] Even when these claims are raised, defendants have no way of proving that they were tortured having spent years in pre-trial detention. [108] Even when witnesses are available (e.g. friend or relative who saw the signs of torture during a visit), they are not called to court. [109] Ultimately, it is the defendant’s word against the word of the police. [110] Cases have been documented in which Nigerian judges chose not to investigate serious allegations of torture that were raised in court. [111]

The transfer of judges amid cases is common practice. [112] When a magistrate is transferred, the case is presented from the beginning before the new magistrate—many files get lost in the process. [113] For instance, a defense lawyer reported the case of a client who had five different judges presiding over his capital trial. He was acquitted after eight years due to repeated delays in court proceedings. [114]

The Nigerian government has expressed its commitment to reform the criminal justice system and taken some action. In 2010, Nigeria amended the National Human Rights Commission Act to grant the National Human Rights Commission investigative and enforcement powers, including the power to visit prisons, detention facilities, and police stations to assess their conditions. [115] In 2011, the Legal Aid Act was also amended to provide legal representation to indigent defendants and to grant licenses to paralegals to provide legal services in certain situations. [116] In 2015, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was enacted to ensure that the criminal justice system “promotes efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crimes and protection of the rights and interest of the suspect, the defendant and victims in Nigeria.” [117]

The Administration of Criminal Justice Act repealed the Criminal Procedure Act, which applied in the Southern Region, and the Criminal Procedure (Northern States) Act, which applied in the Northern Region, and the Administration of Justice Commission Act, providing a unified law applicable in all federal courts with respect to criminal proceedings. [118] The Act introduced provisions on humane treatment during arrest, [119] the courts' faculty to suspend sentences, [120] community service, [121] and parole. [122]

In December 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Anti-Torture Act (2017), which criminalizes acts of torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. The Act provides the right of victims to seek legal assistance for filling complaints [123] and the right of detained individuals to demand a physical and psychological examination after interrogation. [124] A torture conviction can carry up to 25 years in prison. [125] In June 2018, the National Committee Against Torture and the National Human Rights Commission partnered with the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) to launch a torture prevention campaign in the country. [126]

During the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle, which took place in November 2018, Nigeria reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council that “efforts were ongoing between the federal Government and the state governments to formalize a moratorium on the death penalty.” [127] Nevertheless, several non-governmental organizations submitted reports denouncing human rights violations. Front Line Defenders submitted a report denouncing the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders in Nigeria. [128] Christian Solidarity Worldwide submitted a report denouncing, among other issues, the adoption of Shariah penal codes in 12 states in Nigeria, which they claim have hindered the constitutional rights of non-Muslims in these states. [129] Amnesty International submitted a report denouncing the use of the mandatory death penalty, [130] the systematic use of torture, arbitrary and incommunicado detentions, and flawed investigations in criminal proceedings. [131]

References

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[2] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 35, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[4] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), HURILAWS Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/press-releases/101-hurilaws-statement-on-world-day-against-the-death-penalty, Oct. 10, 2018.
[5] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), HURILAWS Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/press-releases/101-hurilaws-statement-on-world-day-against-the-death-penalty, Oct. 10, 2018.
[6] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), HURILAWS Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/press-releases/101-hurilaws-statement-on-world-day-against-the-death-penalty, Oct. 10, 2018.
[7] Tunde Thomas et al, Nigerian prisons steaming with condemned persons, The Sun, http://sunnewsonline.com/nigerian-prisons-steaming-with-condemned-persons/, Mar. 26, 2016.
[8] Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Law Prison Congestion as Denial of Human Rights: What FG is Doing, http://ledapnigeria.org/law-prison-congestion-as-denial-of-human-rights-what-fg-is-doing/, Nov. 15, 2017.
[9] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), HURILAWS Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/press-releases/101-hurilaws-statement-on-world-day-against-the-death-penalty, Oct. 10, 2018.
[10] Wale Odunsi, Why Governors should immediately sign death warrants – Delta CJ, http://dailypost.ng/2017/02/02/governors-immediately-sign-death-warrants-delta-cj/, Feb. 2, 2017.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Gallows preparation in Lagos prison suggests spate of executions imminent, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/04/nigeria-gallows-preparation-in-lagos-prison-suggests-spate-of-executions-imminent/, Apr. 21, 2017.
[12] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Waiting for the Hangman, p. 26, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[13] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Waiting for the Hangman, p. 26, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[14] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Waiting for the Hangman, p. 26, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[15] Tunde Thomas et al, Nigerian prisons steaming with condemned persons, The Sun, http://sunnewsonline.com/nigerian-prisons-steaming-with-condemned-persons/, Mar. 26, 2016.
[16] The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), HURILAWS Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/press-releases/101-hurilaws-statement-on-world-day-against-the-death-penalty, Oct. 10, 2018.
[17] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Waiting for the Hangman, p. 26, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[18] Makwanyane Fellows from Nigeria, interviewed by DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. INT-1, Spring 2017. The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS), HURILAWS Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, http://www.hurilaws.org/publications/press-releases/101-hurilaws-statement-on-world-day-against-the-death-penalty, Oct. 10, 2018.
[19] Reuters, UK to build prison wing in Lagos to transfer Nigerian prisoners, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-nigeria-prison/uk-to-build-prison-wing-in-lagos-to-transfer-nigerian-prisoners-idUSKCN1GK1BA, Mar. 8, 2018. U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 7, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[20] World Prison Brief, World Prison Brief Data: Nigeria, http://www.prisonstudies.org/country/nigeria, Jul. 2018.
[21] Nigeria Prisons Service, Summary of Inmate Population by Convict and Awaiting Trial Personas as at 20th May, 2019, http://www.prisons.gov.ng/statistics, May 20, 2019.
[22] Makwanyane Fellows from Nigeria, interviewed by DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. INT-1, Spring 2017.
[23] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 7, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[24] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 7, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[25] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 7, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[26] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 7, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[27] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, pp. 7–8, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[28] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 39, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[29] U.S. Dept. of State, Nigeria 2017 Human Rights Report, p. 39, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277277.pdf, Apr. 20, 2018.
[30] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 37, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[31] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[32] Angela Uwandu, Head of Office of Avocats Sans Frontières France, Nigeria Office, email to DPW, Nigeria Doc. E-2, Mar. 19, 2015.
[33] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 6, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[34] U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Nigeria, para. 33, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/NGA/CO/3-4, Jun. 11, 2010.
[35] Amnesty Intl., Executions of Juveniles since 1990 as of March 2018, ACT 50/3832/2016, Apr. 11, 2018.
[36] Amnesty Intl., Executions of Juveniles since 1990 as of March 2018, ACT 50/3832/2016, Apr. 11, 2018.
[37] Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Two Juveniles on Death Row in Lagos, http://ledapnigeria.org/two-juveniles-on-death-row-in-lagos-finally-free/#, Mar. 11, 2015.
[38] Amnesty International, Nigeria: Moses Akatugba, https://www.amnesty.org.uk/nigeria-moses-akatugba, May. 28, 2015.
[39] Amnesty International, Nigeria: Moses Akatugba, https://www.amnesty.org.uk/nigeria-moses-akatugba, May. 28, 2015.
[40] Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Two Juveniles on Death Row in Lagos, http://ledapnigeria.org/two-juveniles-on-death-row-in-lagos-finally-free/#, Mar. 11, 2015.
[41] The ECOWAS Court ruled that it did not have competence to order Nigeria to vacate the death sentence. Instead, it ordered a stay in the execution. Abdulmumini v. Federal Republic of Nigeria, Kastina State Government, and the Nigerian Prisons Service, Decision secs. 1–8, ECW/CCJ/jud/14/14, Community Ct. of Justice, ECOWAS, Jun. 10, 2014.
[42] Jude Igbanoi, Maimuna the Child Bride in Katsina Finally Released from Death Row, https://www.pressreader.com/nigeria/thisday/20160913/281981787045628, Sep. 13, 2016.
[43] Human Rights Council, 36th Session, Capital punishment and the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, para 37, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/36/26, Aug. 22, 2017.
[44] Human Rights Council, 36th Session, Capital punishment and the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, para 37, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/36/26, Aug. 22, 2017.
[45] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 126.
[46] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 132(b).
[47] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 130.
[48] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. I, sec. 44, Mar. 2002.
[49] Human Rights Council, 36th Session, Capital punishment and the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, para 37, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/36/26, Aug. 22, 2017.
[50] BBC, Nigeria’s stoning couple freed, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2351009.stm, Oct. 22, 2002.
[51] Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, p. 30, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sep. 2004.
[52] Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, p. 33, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sep. 2004.
[53] BBC, Nigeria court in Kano sentences cleric to death for blasphemy, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35241608, Jan. 6, 2016.
[54] Human Rights Watch, Nigeria: First Execution under Sharia Condemned, https://www.hrw.org/news/2002/01/08/nigeria-first-execution-under-sharia-condemned, Jan. 8, 2002.
[55] Legal Aid Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 1(3), Jun. 3, 2011.
[56] Legal Aid Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 8(2), Jun. 3, 2011.
[57] Legal Aid Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 8(2), Second Schedule (A), Jun. 3, 2011.
[58] Legal Aid Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 10(2)(3), Jun. 3, 2011.
[59] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 349(6)(b), May 13, 2015.
[60] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[61] Sam Erugo, Legal Assistance by Clinical Law Students: A Nigerian Experience in Increasing Access to Justice for the Unrepresented, p. 173, Asian Journal of Legal Education 3(2), Jun. 24, 2016.
[62] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[63] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[64] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[65] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[66] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[67] John Chuks Azu, Experts divided over 2,194 death row prison inmates, https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/experts-divided-over-2-194-death-row-prison-inmates.html, Nov. 7, 2017.
[68] John Chuks Azu, Experts divided over 2,194 death row prison inmates, https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/experts-divided-over-2-194-death-row-prison-inmates.html, Nov. 7, 2017.
[69] Sam Erugo, Legal Assistance by Clinical Law Students: A Nigerian Experience in Increasing Access to Justice for the Unrepresented, p. 160, Asian Journal of Legal Education 3(2), Jun. 24, 2016.
[70] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[71] John Chuks Azu, Experts divided over 2,194 death row prison inmates, https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/experts-divided-over-2-194-death-row-prison-inmates.html, Nov. 7, 2017.
[72] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[73] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[74] Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[75] For example, see: U.N. ESC, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Summary, Extrajudicial or Arbitrary Executions, Philip Alston, paras. 21–26, 32–28, E/CN.4/2006/53/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2006.
[76] Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[77] Aileru Olayinka, Legal aid act 2011, untapped goldmine in decongesting Nigerian prisons, The Guardian, https://guardian.ng/features/law/legal-aid-act-2011-untapped-goldmine-in-decongesting-nigerian-prisons/, May. 10, 2016.
[78] Nigeria Prisons Service, Summary of Inmate Population by Convict and Awaiting Trial Personas as at 20th May, 2019, http://www.prisons.gov.ng/statistics, May 20, 2019.
[79] Aileru Olayinka, Legal aid act 2011, untapped goldmine in decongesting Nigerian prisons, The Guardian, https://guardian.ng/features/law/legal-aid-act-2011-untapped-goldmine-in-decongesting-nigerian-prisons/, May. 10, 2016.
[80] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[81] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[82] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[83] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[84] Makwanyane Fellows from Nigeria, interviewed by DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. INT-1, Spring 2017.
[85] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[86] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[87] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[88] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[89] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[90] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[91] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[92] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Adamu A. Ja’afaru, affiliated with Human Rights Law Service, interviewed by Ellen Wight, Nigeria Doc. INT-2, Feb. 24, 2010.
[93] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: ‘Waiting for the Hangman,’ p. 3, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[94] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: ‘Waiting for the Hangman,’ p. 36, AFR 44/020/2008, Oct. 21, 2008.
[95] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018. Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria. pp. 24–26, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[96] Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, pp. 24–26, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[97] Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, pp. 24–26, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[98] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016. Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, pp. 24–26, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[99] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016. Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, pp. 24–26, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[100] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016. Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, pp. 24–26, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[101] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016. Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, p. 28, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[102] Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, p. 28, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[103] Evidence Act of Nigeria, 2011, secs. 29(2)(a)(b), 29(5), Jun. 3, 2011.
[104] Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire”, Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, p. 30, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[105] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[106] Evidence Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 29(3), Jun. 3, 2011.
[107] Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire.” Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, p. 30, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[108] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016. Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire.” Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, p. 30, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[109] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[110] Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire.” Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, p. 30, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[111] Amnesty Intl., “Welcome to hell fire.” Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, pp. 49–50, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014.
[112] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[113] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[114] Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Research Memo on Nigeria, DPW Nigeria Doc. M-1, Jan. 24, 2016.
[115] National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act, 2010, sec. 6(1)(d), Jan. 2010.
[116] Legal Aid Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 17, Jun. 3, 2011.
[117] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, explanatory memorandum, May 13, 2015.
[118] Law Pavilion, The Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA), https://lawpavilion.com/blog/the-administration-of-criminal-justice-act-2015-acja/, Feb. 8, 2016.
[119] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 8(1), May 13, 2015.
[120] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 460(1), May 13, 2015.
[121] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 460(2), May 13, 2015.
[122] Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria, 2015, sec. 468, May 13, 2015.
[123] Anti-Torture Act of Nigeria, 2017, sec. 5, Dec. 29, 2017.
[124] Anti-Torture Act of Nigeria, 2017, sec. 6, Dec. 29, 2017.
[125] Anti-Torture Act of Nigeria, 2017, sec. 8(1), Dec. 29, 2017.
[126] Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), LEDAP, NHRC Walk Against Torture in Nigeria, http://ledapnigeria.org/ledap-nhrc-walk-against-torture-in-nigeria/, Jul. 2, 2018.
[127] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, para. 20, A/HRC/40/7, Dec. 26, 2018.
[128] Front Line Defenders, UPR Submission – Nigeria 2018, https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/statement-report/upr-submission-nigeria-2018, Apr. 1, 2018.
[129] Christian Solidarity Worldwide and CSW-Nigeria, Stakeholder Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, 31st Session, https://www.csw.org.uk/2018/04/06/report/3904/article.htm, Apr. 6, 2018.
[130] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Still No Accountability for Human Rights Violations, p. 10, AFR 44/8529/2018, Mar. 1, 2018.
[131] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria: Still No Accountability for Human Rights Violations, p. 8, AFR 44/8529/2018, Mar. 1, 2018.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee has not issued concluding observations concerning Nigeria’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights since 1996, when Nigeria last submitted a state party report. [1] In 1996, the Human Rights Committee expressed concern about the high number of death sentences passed and carried out without the safeguard of fair trials. [2] The Committee also noted that the death penalty could be imposed for offenses that do not meet the “most serious crimes” standard. [3] Finally, the Committee stated that public executions are “incompatible with human dignity.” [4]

The Human Rights Committee appointed a Country Report Task Force [5] to consider Nigeria’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the absence of Nigeria’s state party report, during its 124th session which took place in November 2018. [6] Non-governmental organizations presented reports suggesting issues to be included in the list of issues to be adopted by the Country Report Task Force. [7] For instance, the Advocates for Human Rights and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty submitted a joint report denouncing Nigeria’s failure to uphold its obligations under the Covenant regarding the death penalty. [8] This civil society report expressed concern that: (1) Nigeria has not imposed a formal moratorium on the death penalty despite the Human Rights Committee’s official recommendations; [9] (2) the death penalty is not limited to the most serious crimes, and in some cases it is mandatory; [10] (3) under certain circumstances, the execution of juveniles is allowed by Nigerian laws; [11] and (4) Nigeria does not assist Nigerian nationals facing the death penalty in foreign countries. [12] The Task Force adopted a list of issues to discuss with Nigerian representatives in future sessions of the Human Rights Committee, which included measures to review death sentences resulting from unfair trials and steps towards establishing an official moratorium with a view towards abolition. [13]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights:

In 1995, while Nigeria was under a military government, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights issued two decisions regarding the application of the death penalty in Nigeria. [14] In the first case, the Commission declared that Nigeria’s Robbery and Firearms (Special provision) Decree No. 5 of 1984 violated the right to an appeal, to a defense, and to be tried within reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal under the African Charter. [15] The Decree removed the possibility of an appeal from a decision of a special tribunal under the Act and the Commission found that to preclude any avenue of appeal was a violation of the right to an appeal under the Charter. [16] Further, the Commission declared that the tribunal’s composition—consisting of one judge, one military officer, and one police officer—was biased. [17] The Commission recommended Nigeria free the complainants. [18]

In the second case, the Commission similarly declared that Nigeria had violated the right to an appeal, to a defense, and to be tried within reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal under the Charter for sentencing to death seven persons under the Civil Disturbance (Special Tribunal) Decree No. 2 of 1987. [19] This decree likewise precluded appeals against special tribunals’ decisions and prohibited the courts from reviewing any aspect of the tribunals’ operation, which the Commission found was a violation of the right to an appeal under the Charter. [20] In addition, the Commission found that the applicants were deprived of their rights to a defense and to be defended by a lawyer of their choice. [21] Finally, since the special tribunal was composed of one judge and four military officials, the Commission found it to be biased. [22] The Commission recommended Nigeria free the complainants. [23]

The Commission reiterated that Nigeria had violated the applicant’s right to be tried within reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal under the Charter in 1998 in the case of Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa, who had been sentenced to death by a special tribunal. [24]

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights declared in 2001 that Nigeria had violated the rights to an appeal and to a defense under the Charter in the case of Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya, four other soldiers, and a civilian, who were convicted and sentenced to death by a special military tribunal for an alleged coup against the military government. [25] The Commission found that the applicants were not given the opportunity to be represented by counsel of their choice. [26] The decision of the military tribunal was not subject to appeal, [27] and the trial proceedings were conducted secretly, all in violation of the Charter. [28] Further, the tribunal did not meet the requirements of independence and impartiality. [29] The Commission requested Nigeria to compensate the victims. [30]

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice:

In June 2014, the ECOWAS Court of Justice issued two separate judgments prohibiting Nigeria from executing death row prisoners. [31] One of the prisoners, Maimuna Abdulmumini, was sentenced to death for murdering her husband when she was 13. [32] The Court held that imposing the death sentence on a juvenile was a violation of the Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and awarded Abdulmumini damages. [33] In 2016, Abdulmumini was released from prison. [34]

In the second 2014 judgment, the Court ruled that executing Thankgod Ebhos while his appeal was pending in the Court of Appeal would constitute a violation of his right to a fair trial. [35] Shortly after the Court rendered its decision, Ebhos was released from prison after spending 19 years on death row. [36]

Gabriel Inyang and Linus Iyeme were sentenced to death in 1995 by a Tribunal set up by the Military Government of Nigeria. [37] The Court found that since the applicants were tried before a special tribunal deemed to lack impartiality and which precluded any avenue to appeal, Nigeria had violated their right to an appeal and to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal under the Charter. [38] After citing to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ conclusion in Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Wahab Akamu, G.Adega and others v. Nigeria), the ECOWAS Court of Justice found that the continuous detention of the applicants was illegal and ordered their immediate release. [39]

U.N. Human Rights Council:

In the Human Rights Council’s 2013 Universal Periodic Review of Nigeria, Sweden questioned why Nigeria chose to break its de facto moratorium on the death penalty in relation to the executions in Edo State. [40] Nigeria stated that death penalty laws “could only be changed through negotiation and persuasion and not by government fiat” and added that the 2013 executions had been carried out in accordance with the law. [41] A number of countries recommended that Nigeria establish an official moratorium on the death penalty and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. [42]

In the 2018 Universal Periodic Review, Nigeria reported that there were negotiations between the federal and state governments to impose an official moratorium on capital punishment. [43] Several states recommended Nigeria to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, [44] establish an official moratorium, and abolish the death penalty. [45] Uruguay recommended repealing the law that prescribes capital punishment for homosexual acts. [46]

References

[1] U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Reporting status for Nigeria, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=NGA&Lang=EN, last accessed Aug. 3, 2018.
[2] U.N. Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Nigeria, para. 16, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add. 65, Jul. 24, 1996.
[3] U.N. Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Nigeria, para. 16, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add. 65, Jul. 24, 1996.
[4] U.N. Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Nigeria, para. 16, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add. 65, Jul. 24, 1996.
[5] U.N. Human Rights Committee, Working Methods, https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/ccpr/pages/workingmethods.aspx, last accessed Aug. 7, 2018.
[6] U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, CCPR – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 124 Session (08 Oct 2018 – 02 Nov 2018), https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1214&Lang=en, last accessed Aug. 7, 2018.
[7] U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Reporting status for Nigeria, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=NGA&Lang=EN, last accessed Aug. 3, 2018.
[8] Advocates for Human Rights and World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Nigeria’s Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Suggested List of Issues Relating to the Death Penalty, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/NGA/INT_CCPR_ICO_NGA_31029_E.pdf, Apr. 30, 2018.
[9] Advocates for Human Rights and World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Nigeria’s Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Suggested List of Issues Relating to the Death Penalty, sec. I, paras. 5-12, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/NGA/INT_CCPR_ICO_NGA_31029_E.pdf, Apr. 30, 2018.
[10] Advocates for Human Rights and World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Nigeria’s Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Suggested List of Issues Relating to the Death Penalty, sec. II, paras. 13–19, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/NGA/INT_CCPR_ICO_NGA_31029_E.pdf, Apr. 30, 2018.
[11] Advocates for Human Rights and World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Nigeria’s Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Suggested List of Issues Relating to the Death Penalty, sec. III, paras. 20–21, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/NGA/INT_CCPR_ICO_NGA_31029_E.pdf, Apr. 30, 2018.
[12] Advocates for Human Rights and World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Nigeria’s Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Suggested List of Issues Relating to the Death Penalty, sec. IV, paras. 23–24, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/NGA/INT_CCPR_ICO_NGA_31029_E.pdf, Apr. 30, 2018.
[13] U.N. Human Rights Committee, List of issues in the absence of the second periodic report of Nigeria, CCPR/C/NGA/Q/2, Nov. 28, 2018.
[14] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 60/91 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Wahab Akamu, G. Adega and others) / Nigeria, Holding, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/60.91/achpr17_60_91_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 87/93 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Zamani Lakwot and six others) / Nigeria, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/87.93/achpr17_87_93_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[15] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 60/91 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Wahab Akamu, G. Adega and others) / Nigeria, Holding, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/60.91/achpr17_60_91_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[16] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 60/91 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Wahab Akamu, G. Adega and others) / Nigeria, paras. 12–13, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/60.91/achpr17_60_91_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[17] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 60/91 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Wahab Akamu, G. Adega and others) / Nigeria, para. 14, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/60.91/achpr17_60_91_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[18] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 60/91 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Wahab Akamu, G. Adega and others) / Nigeria, Holding, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/60.91/achpr17_60_91_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[19] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 87/93 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Zamani Lakwot and six others) / Nigeria, Holding, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/87.93/achpr17_87_93_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[20] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 87/93 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Zamani Lakwot and six others) / Nigeria, para. 11, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/87.93/achpr17_87_93_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[21] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 87/93 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Zamani Lakwot and six others) / Nigeria, para. 12, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/87.93/achpr17_87_93_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[22] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 87/93 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Zamani Lakwot and six others) / Nigeria, para. 13-14, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/87.93/achpr17_87_93_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[23] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 87/93 Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Zamani Lakwot and six others) / Nigeria, Holding, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/17th/comunications/87.93/achpr17_87_93_eng.pdf, Mar. 1995.
[24] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 137/94-139/94-154/96-161/97 International PEN, Constitutional Rights Project, Civil Liberties Organisation and Interights (on behalf of Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr.) / Nigeria, Holding, http://caselaw.ihrda.org/doc/137.94-139.94-154.96-161.97/view/en/, Oct. 1998.
[25] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 218/98: Civil Liberties Organisation, Legal Defence Centre, Legal Defence and Assistance Project / Nigeria, paras. 28-31, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/29th/comunications/218.98/achpr29_218_98_eng.pdf, May 2001.
[26] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 218/98: Civil Liberties Organisation, Legal Defence Centre, Legal Defence and Assistance Project / Nigeria, paras. 28–31, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/29th/comunications/218.98/achpr29_218_98_eng.pdf, May 2001.
[27] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 218/98: Civil Liberties Organisation, Legal Defence Centre, Legal Defence and Assistance Project / Nigeria, paras. 32–34, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/29th/comunications/218.98/achpr29_218_98_eng.pdf, May 2001.
[28] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 218/98: Civil Liberties Organisation, Legal Defence Centre, Legal Defence and Assistance Project / Nigeria, paras. 35–39, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/29th/comunications/218.98/achpr29_218_98_eng.pdf, May 2001.
[29] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 218/98: Civil Liberties Organisation, Legal Defence Centre, Legal Defence and Assistance Project / Nigeria, paras. 43-44, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/29th/comunications/218.98/achpr29_218_98_eng.pdf, May 2001.
[30] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 218/98: Civil Liberties Organisation, Legal Defence Centre, Legal Defence and Assistance Project / Nigeria, Holding, http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/29th/comunications/218.98/achpr29_218_98_eng.pdf, May 2001.
[31] Avocats Frontières France, West African court finds against Nigeria in abusive capital cases, http://www.worldcoalition.org/nigeria-ecowas-court-death-penalty-human-rights-minor-appeal.html. Jul. 3, 2014.
[32] Avocats Frontières France, West African court finds against Nigeria in abusive capital cases, http://www.worldcoalition.org/nigeria-ecowas-court-death-penalty-human-rights-minor-appeal.html. Jul. 3, 2014.
[33] Abdulmumini v. Federal Republic of Nigeria, Kastina State Government, and the Nigerian Prisons Service, Decision secs. 1–8, ECW/CCJ/jud/14/14, Community Ct. of Justice, ECOWAS, Jun. 10, 2014.
[34] Jude Igbanoi, Maimuna the Child Bride in Katsina Finally Released from Death Row, https://www.pressreader.com/nigeria/thisday/20160913/281981787045628, Sep. 13, 2016.
[35] Avocats Sans Frontières France, Experience sharing on strategic litigation on the SALI project before the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Nigeria: Being a presentation made by Angela Uwandu (Avocats Sans Frontières France Head of Office in Nigeria) and Kolawole Ogunbiyi (SALI Senior Lawyer/Legal Manager) at the Saving Lives final conference in Paris, France, http://avocatssansfrontieres-france.org/files/pmedia/public/r501_9_presentation__on_sali_strategic_litigation_before_the_ecowas_court.pdf, Nov. 27, 2014.
[36] Amnesty Intl., Nigeria releases man who barely escaped the gallows after 19 years on death row, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/10/nigeria-releases-man-who-barely-escaped-gallows-after-years-death-row/, Oct. 27, 2014.
[37] Inyang v. Nigeria, para. 3.1, ECW/CCJ/JUD/20/18, Community Ct. of Justice, ECOWAS, Jun. 29, 2018.
[38] Inyang v. Nigeria, paras. 6.3.23 - 6.3.26, ECW/CCJ/JUD/20/18, Community Ct. of Justice, ECOWAS, Jun. 29, 2018.
[39] Inyang v. Nigeria, sec. 8, para. 3, ECW/CCJ/JUD/20/18, Community Ct. of Justice, ECOWAS, Jun. 29, 2018.
[40] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, para. 115, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/25/6, Dec. 16, 2013.
[41] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, para. 18, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/25/6, Dec. 16, 2013.
[42] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, para. 137, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/25/6, Dec. 16, 2013.
[43] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, para. 20, A/HRC/40/7, Dec. 26, 2018.
[44] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, paras. 148.1–148.8, A/HRC/40/7, Dec. 26, 2018.
[45] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, paras. 148.124–148.144, A/HRC/40/7, Dec. 26, 2018.
[46] U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria, para. 148.72, A/HRC/40/7, Dec. 26, 2018.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

HURILAWS (Human Rights Law Services) Mr. Ja'afaru Adamu Legal/Program Officer Maritime Complex, 34, Creek Road - Apapa 234 Lagos, Nigeria Tel: +234 1 745 3732 Fax: +234 1 545 4554 a.jaafaru@hurilaws.org http://www.hurilaws.org

Legal Defence & Assistance Project (LEDAP) Mr. Chino Obiagwu National Coordinator 3rd Floor Lamlat House, 270 Ikorodu Road, Anthony Village P.O. Box 6828 Shomulu, Lagos, Nigeria Tel: +234 1 2802009 Fax: +234 1 2802009 info@ledapnigeria.org www.ledapnigeria.org

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

Avocats Sans Frontières - Nigeria Office Abuja, Nigeria office.nigeria@avocatssansfrontieres-france.org Tel: +234 9059560911

PRAWA Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T.) Abuja, Nigeria info@prawa.org, uagomoh@prawa.org Tel: +234 803 6877 166

Reprieve UK PO Box 72054 London EC3P 3BZ United Kingdom info@reprieve.org.uk http://www.reprieve.org.uk Tel: +20 7553 8140

Helpful Reports and Publications

Amnesty International, Nigeria: Still No Accountability for Human Rights Violations, AFR 44/8529/2018, Mar. 2018.

Amnesty International, “Welcome to hell fire”: Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria, AFR 44/011/2014, Sep. 18, 2014

Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Criminal Procedure Code Annotated, Oct. 2005.

Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, Mar. 2002.

Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sept. 2004.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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