SERAP wants President Jonathan to reverse the ‘directive’ he gave to state governors.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked the African Union, AU, to prevail on President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria to withdraw the ‘directive’ he issued to the governors of the 36 states in the country to execute prisoners on death row in their states.
The organization also demanded compensation for the families of the four prisoners executed in Benin City, the Edo State Capital, on Monday.
Mr. Jonathan had asked the governors to exercise their powers by signing the death warrants on condemned prisoners.
The president’s statement came two days before the four condemned prisoners in Edo State were executed on Monday; though the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, signed the death warrants last year.
SERAP, however, asked the AU Commissioner and Chairperson of the Working Group on Death Penalty, Zainabo Kayitesi, to order the Nigerian government to withdraw the ‘directive’ to the 36 states and to pay adequate compensation to the families of the four prisoners already ‘unlawfully’ executed in Benin.
In a request for provisional measures dated June 25, and signed by Solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana, the organisation asked AU to “urgently exercise its authority to request Nigeria to immediately withdraw the directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to 36 states of the Federation of Nigeria to execute all death row prisoners, and fully accord the prisoners their fair trial and other human rights, pending this Commission’s decision.”
The request for provisional measures was submitted in conjunction with SERAP’s communication to the AU.
According to the organization, “unless the African Commission urgently intervenes in this case, there is a risk of irreversible denial of several deaths.”