Ogun State has approved the lifting of a moratorium on cases relating to capital punishment as part of measures to fast track dispensation of justice in the state.
This was revealed when the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olumide Ayeni, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, briefed journalists after the 31st weekly Executive Council Meeting, presided by Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Abeokuta on Monday.
According to the attorney general, the pronouncement was in accordance with a recent directive of the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council of States meeting ‘in relation to death penalty.’
Mr. Ayeni, who said the moratorium is with immediate effect, explained that the step would be applicable to cases, where lives were lost as a result of committing a heinous crime.
While explaining the reason for the decision, the commissioner noted that it is part of the efforts by the state government to reduce cases of kidnapping, cultism and other societal ills, which he said is on the increase.
Mr. Ayeni stated that the step would go a long way to ensure that the rule of law prevails in the society.
Mr. Adeneye, on his part, said the initiative was to avoid a spill over of crimes and other violent acts from gaining entrance into the state.
Though constitutional in Nigeria, capital punishment has become an unconventional mode in the nation’s criminal justice system leading to congestion in the prison due to awaiting execution cases.
University lecturers recently expressed divergent opinions on the continued relevance of the death penalty in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.
Human rights activists globally have kicked against the death penalty.
In a 2014 research made by Amnesty International, about 697 people were sentenced to death by firing squad or by hanging.