CURE Conference weighs in on Nigeria death penalty debate
Members of the conference welcomed news from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice that the Nigerian Government has instituted a moratorium on the death penalty because of concerns about its implementation.
Over the course of the there-day conference, the 72 participants from a range of different organisations visited the Kaduna Borstal Institution, a prison that holds 450 juveniles ranging from 16-21 years of age.
The participants, including World Coalition member Equal Justice Initiative, reported a number of issues facing the penal system in the country, including, the overpopulation of prisons, and prisoners rarely being provided legal representation.
The conference endorsed 48 recommendations which aim to solve many of these issues. Among those recommendations was the abolition of the death penalty, abolishing the sentencing to death or life imprisonment of people under 18 years and guaranteeing access to legal representation for all individuals.
The CURE Conference comes after the Nigerian Senate enacted an anti-terrorism bill in February which contained additional offences that are punishable by the death penalty.
Nigeria has not executed anyone since 2006 although it continues to sentence people to death each year. In 2009, according to Amnesty International, Nigeria sentence 58 people to death.