LAGOS, OCTOBER 10, 2016 – The UK on Monday appealed to Nigeria to abolish the death penalty, saying that capital punishment cheapened human life.The UK made the appeal in a statement issued by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, on the 2016 World Day against the Death Penalty.
Arkwright said that the British Government believed the death penalty had no place in the modern world and its use undermined human dignity.
According to him, there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value, adding that any miscarriage of justice leading to its imposition is irreversible and irreparable.
He explained that the past two decades had seen a significant rise in the number of countries that had abolished capital punishment.
“I am concerned therefore that Nigeria, a model for democracy in Africa, still retains the death penalty in its laws.
“In 2013 Nigeria carried out four executions, the first since 2006.
“At the time of the execution, all four individuals still had appeals to halt their executions, a violation of international law and I believe Nigerian law too.”
He said while no death sentence had been implemented since 2013, Nigeria had more than 1,000 prisoners on death row, the highest number of death sentences in Africa.
“In 2015, Nigeria recorded 171 death sentences. This year too, there have been death sentences handed down by Nigerian courts,” he said.