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Reasons the Nigerian Government Does not Issue the Death Penalty

Reasons the Nigerian Government Does not Issue the Death Penalty

The death penalty or death sentence is the punishment for any capital offense that the court of jurisdiction orders after it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the convicted person is indeed a criminal.

In Nigeria, under the criminal or penal codes, murder, terrorism-related offenses, robbery, kidnapping, sodomy, homosexuality, blasphemy, assisting an incapable person to commit suicide, perjury, execution, treason, military offenses such as mutiny, and practice of local beliefs in states that apply Shariah law.

However, death sentences are not executed partly because of human rights concerns. But convicts are however jailed for an indefinite amount of time. Also, for an execution to be carried out, the governor of the state has to approve of it. And this itself is a rare phenomenon.

During Nigeria’s Military era between 1966 to 1979 and 1983 to 1998, it was usually the norm for political opponents to be executed then. Also, armed robbers facing the firing squad and being executed in public places back then was a normal sight, like when Babatunde Folorunsho and two other armed robbers were executed via firing squad at the Lagos Bar Beach in July 1971.

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These criminals set the record for being the first recorded convicts to get the death penalty sentence via firing squad in Nigeria because of their heinous crime of armed robbery. 

In July of 1995, 43 convicted armed robbers were convicted by firing squad in batches at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison Lagos.

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