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Published On: Fri, Mar 14th, 2014

Death penalty: ECOWAS Court bars FG from implementation

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•No going back on same sex marriage ban – AGF

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Bello Adoke, has disclosed that an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court of justice has granted an injunction restraining the Nigerian government from executing death penalty against condemned persons.

Speaking when he received the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, Madam Navi Pillay, who was at the Federal Ministry of Justice on a courtesy visit, Adoke said the court directed the federal government to continue to abide by its commitment to the Moratorium

against the death penalty.

He therefore said federal government will respect this order by the ECOWAS Court, even though he said government would continue with its national dialogue on the abolition or retention of the death penalty.

According to him, “By the political structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Death Penalty is within the Jurisdiction of the various State Governments. However, Section 33 (1) of the Constitution provides that every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life save in the execution of a sentence of a court in criminal matters”.

He explained that both the Criminal and Penal Codes of the various States provide death sentence for any person who commits murder or culpable homicide and therefore, death penalty is a valid part of Nigerian Law.

While speaking on the anti-Same Sex Marriage Act, the Minister of Justice said Nigerian laws do not criminalise individual sexual orientation.

He said that Nigeria would not go back on same sex marriage, pointing out that the Act prohibiting same sex marriage will discourage in Nigeria.

“The focus of the Act is therefore discouragement of same-sex marriage which is a reflection of the overwhelming beliefs and cultural values of the Nigerian people as demonstrated by a 2013 Opinion Poll which showed that 92 percent of Nigerians reject same-sex marriage” he said.

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