Falana charges governors not to sign death warrants
Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has asked Nigerian governors not to sign death warrants of condemned prisoners, and charged them to rather be humane as contained in the Section 34 of the Nigerian Constitution.
Falana, who made the call while addressing newsmen in his Ilawe-Ekiti home in Ekiti South West Local Government Area of Ekiti State, noted that the Section 34 of the constitution prescribed absolute opposition to torture.
According to him, execution of criminals is “primitive, barbaric wasteful intentional killing of Nigerians.”
He advised that instead of the state governors to sign the warrants, they should commute such to life imprisonment where the criminals would suffer and learn their lessons rather than be killed at once.
He suggested that rather than killing the convicts, the government could send them to life in jail and confiscate all property suspected to be proceeds of the nature of crime so committed.
Falana lamented that many Nigerians die in road crashes caused by bad road conditions and non-availability of adequate medicare, while others perish due to ignorance occasioned by poor state of education just as many were forced into crime by the hardship imposed on the country by politicians, who stole what was meant for the people’s welfare.
He said: “I make bold to say there is no crime that is as heinous as diverting monies meant for the procurrement of arms for use by troops fighting enemies of the nation; or monies meant for construction of roads or building of hospitals. This is because those who will die as a result of such deliberate acts of wickedness will be more than those killed by highway robbers and insurgents.”
He used the occasion to reiterate his appeal to the Federal Government not to execute the convicted soldiers, found to have absconded during a battle against insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country.
He faulted the nation’s justice administration system which, according to him, punished “lesser criminals” with death sentences whereas the greatest ones are allowed to walk free.
He described politicians who embezzled money earmarked for construction of roads, schools, hospitals, power supply, arms procurement, etc were the “greatest killers.”