Order killing of death row inmates now, Judge tells Nigerian governors

A Nigerian Prison used to illustrate the story.

A judge has urged state governors to sign the death warrant of over 1,600 inmates on death sentence in order to decongest the prisons.

The Chief Judge of Delta State, Marshal Umukoro, spoke on Wednesday in Ibadan during the 2017 Aquinas’ Day colloquium of Dominican Institute.

At the lecture titled “The Judiciary and Criminal Justice System: Odds and Ends,” Mr. Umukoro said that recent statistics from the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, indicated that no fewer than 1,612 inmates are on death sentence in Nigeria prisons.

The chief judge said that signing the death warrant would reduce prison congestion, and served as deterrent to others.

Local and international organisations such have Amnesty international have repeatedly called for the abolition of the death penalty. Death penalty is however still legal in Nigeria where it can used to punish people convicted of crimes like murder and armed robbery.

Last week, a court in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, sentenced a man to death for stealing a motorcycle, phone, and some money from a victim who he also inflected serious body injuries on.

Before executions can be carried out, however, the death sentence must be approved by the state governor where the judgement was issued. Some state governors, however, use their prerogative to commute the death sentences to prison terms.

On Wednesday, the Delta State chief judge also called for synergy between the police, prisons and the courts in order to boost justice administration.

“Some criminal cases have been hanging without progress for over a year in some courts due to transfer of Investigative Police Officer (IPO) or as a result of IPO going on short course.

“Some courts too do not cooperate with the police and the prison to expeditiously dispose of criminal cases.

“This does not only lead to unnecessary waste of time, but also greatly affects the disposition of the accused person and the witnesses who look forward to seeing the end of the case,’’ the chief judge said.

Mr. Umukoro said that more fora should be organised from time to time with the aim of sensitising various relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice sector on the need for mutual co-operation.


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  • Tamuno-Opubo Cookey-Gam

    I hope the governors commute the sentences to life in prison.

    • Victoria

      They must not kill them.those are the product of Bad governance ruling Nigeria since.And if they have to kill them,they must be killed with the looters like Saraki,Madueke,Dasuki,Atiku, and some other looters that i cannot mention here regardless of tribe.

      • daddykaris

        The discussion for Nigerias over delayed revolution has started quite delightedly. Let is fester into full bloom explosion. No subterfuge of ethnicity or religion here. Pure class elucidation.

  • Sword of Damocles

    here a human being calling for the slaughtering of humans like he is talking of ram or goat. In all candor its is startling to hear such a thing. no empathy at all, however here is a question for all thinking Nigerians, the crimes that these condemned men & women committed to warrant the sentence, are those crimes REALLY GREATER THAN THE CRIMES THAT THE RULING ELITES have committed against Nigeria’s 180 million citizens????? Count all the people(including my late Mom) that have died from all sorts of causes due to lack of development caused by wanton STEALING by worthless people. Are these deaths that number in the hundreds of thousands not more SERIOUS than any crimes that these death row inmates may have committed?? Yet no one is calling for the execution of these people like Saraki, IBB, Danjuma, Ekweremadu, David Mark, Dogora, GEJ, Abdulasalami,Melaye, Kyari, Fayose, and the list goes on & on (due to the absolute lack of character of most Nigerian leaders). Would it really be UNJUST to insist on their extermination?. If YES, then WHY?? maybe rule of law and justice just does not apply to people whose skin is black? We (180 million suffering masses) need to urgently have a philosophical discussion as to WHY these traitors should continuously be in our midst reminding us of our IRRELEVANCE in the Big scheme of things circa FRN. Why should they not all be exterminated like famine causing locusts? Somebody please elucidate for me????

    • likita

      Mukoro’s suggestion is without any form of empathy. Instead of de-congestion the prison by fast tracking the cases of the innocent lying in the prison, Mukoro is asking for this. What is needed is Rehabilitation, not their death.

      • Sword of Damocles


    • Oladele

      He meant convicted criminals not “normal humans” Only Gov Adams signs them quickly as should be done. I suppose the issue you have is trusting that these convicts actually were those to die and not that some judges collected money and altered the course of justice, that to me is a very serious issue. I will suggest a judicial panel to review individual cases.

  • British Nigerian

    70% of inmates in Nigerian prisons are yet to have their case in court. That’s nearly 40,000 people held without trial.

    This ignorant judge is concerned about just 1,600 prisoners causing the congestion.

  • FuzzyLogic

    Governors who are opposed to the death sentence philosophically and on the basis of conscience should ignore this Supreme court order.

  • Gary

    Callous and heartless judge. Shame on you and may God forgive your soul.

    • Bayo Ola

      Why would you say shame on a judge that asked that justice be done? Why not shame on those who killed others? So if armed robbers robbed your parents and raped your sisters and killed your father, you would still have the guts to say shame on you to a judge that sentences such armed robber to death? You can ask for a thorough prosecutions of the accussed so that innocent people are not executed for offence they did not commit. But you cannot plead for those who derive pleasure in killing others, except you are one of them!!!

      • MR Mr

        There is no arguing with these people. Your trying to reason with somone who actually thinks there is a person in the clouds who tells them to be that way. They are crazy people and have no empathy except for murderers.

  • MR Mr

    Good job judge, keep justice moving. Wish we has more judges like you in the states. We have horrible people here who murder innocent men,women and children and even after being convicted and having appeals and sitting for many years in prison they still have not been executed. Also we have people who actually defend these murderous devils of innocent women and children. Thankfully some of them still get their punishment and with President Trump and new leadership in the justice department hopefully these lawfull punishments will pick up their pace. Also lord please forgive those people who defend these monsters, they are weak minded and no know better.

    • DWIN

      “….and no know better”?

      • MR Mr

        Sorry Internet police that my phone did a funky auto correct and that came out. You are a petty petty person and and probably quite insecure.

        • DWIN

          I’m not insecure…..And damn all, I am not petty ….AND MY DAD CAN BEAT UP YOUR DAD

  • Rommel

    I would also support death penalty for treasury looters

    • Nate D. Satan

      Please stop scaring the governors.

  • javscong javscong

    Mr Umukoro, your choice of forum to urge governors to authorise executions, The Dominican Institute, was manifestly wrong. The Dominican Institute is an organisation within the Catholic Church which has an unequivocal stand against capital punishment. How can you, in any case solicit mass murder by the state? We know how corrupt our judiciary and Police are and it is inconceivable that even 10% of those on death row are guilty or even had a fair trial.How many of those on death row are middle class men and women, how many ex-governors and legislators are there? It is the oppressed in our society, most of whom had no resources to hire lawyers that are languishing on death row. The governors should rather commute all those sentences to prison terms. Some of the “convicts” may even be eligible for pardon after retrial. Please let us not give a carte blanche to government to execute innocent citizens.