FG Slams Amnesty International Over Call To Halt Inmates’ Execution

Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama  Photo: The Whistler

By Ige Olugbenga

The foreign affairs ministry has frowned on calls by Amnesty International (AI) on the federal government to halt the planned execution of some inmates on death row in Lagos state.

The ministry made its position known in a statement issued by Amb. Olushola Enikanolaiye, its permanent secretary on Friday in Abuja.

Enikanolaye stated that AI had on April 21, urged the federal government to establish an official moratorium, with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

The permanent secretary, however, said that the Lagos state government had yet to officially confirm its intention to carry out executions at the Kirikiri Prison.

According to him, the federal government acknowledges the growing global preference for the abolition of death penalty.

Amnesty Internation is not sincere – FG

He said that theFG is aware that total abolition of the capital punishment is yet to be established as a globally acceptable human rights norm.

Enikanolaye said the claim by the AI that death penalty is an outdated and cruel punishment which violates the right to life was just propaganda by the organisation.

He said that AI by its claim ignored the rights of the traumatised family members of victims of violent crimes and rather throws its weight behind those who committed heinous crimes against Nigerians.

Enikanolaye explained that the death penalty, as contained in Article 6 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights was an exception to the right to life as long as it was not arbitrarily imposed.

He, however, noted that the federalist nature of democracy equally makes the death penalty the prerogative of the state governments to impose and execute in accordance with the Constitution.

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