Femi-Falana

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has been urged to commute the death penalty passed on death row inmates in the state to life sentence.

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) made the argument in his letter dated April 19, 2017 and addressed to Governor Ambode that the planned execution of death row inmates in the state would violate a subsisting judgment delivered in 2012 by the High Court of Lagos State which ruled that it was illegal and unconstitutional to execute the condemned inmates.

Those on death row upon the judgment of the court of Lagos State included the General-Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Rev. King.

He reminded the governor that the judgment of the court of the state had held that to hang or subject the death row inmates to firing squad would lead to the violation of their fundamental right to freedom from torture guaranteed by the Constitution.

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The judgment was said to have been delivered by Justice Mufutau Olokooba of the Lagos State High Court on June 29, 2012.

The Lagos lawyer advised the state government to explore the only available option of commuting the death penalty passed on the inmates to life imprisonment.

Falana stated, “On the basis of the valid and subsisting judgment of the Lagos High Court on the illegality of the execution of the death penalty in Lagos State we urge Your Excellency not to sign a death warrant authorising the killing of any condemned prisoner either by hanging, firing squad or any other means whatsoever.

“In the circumstance, Your Excellency may wish to commute the death sentences of all condemned prisoners in Lagos State to life imprisonment forthwith.”