The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, has requested President Goodluck Jonathan to rescind his directive to the 36 states of the Federation of Nigeria seeking to begin execution of prisoners on death row across the country, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has said.
SERAP said the Commission confirmed the order through Commissioner Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi, Chairperson of the Working Group on Death Penalty, and Mary Maboreke, Secretary of the African Commission, Mary Maboreke.
It said that the order had been sent to President Jonathan through the Ministry of External Affairs. The commission is the body charged with overseeing states parties’ compliance with their legal obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to which Nigeria is a state party. The Commission’s order followed a petition filed by SERAP through its Solicitor Femi Falana, SAN.
Reacting to the African Commission’s decision Mr. Falana said, “This is a landmark decision and one which shows the willingness of the Commission to assert its authority in critical situations such as the present one, in order to ensure full protection of the human rights of the African people, and to hold African governments responsible for their legal obligations under the African Charter.”