Rev King Can’t Be Placed On Death Sentence – Falana
A senior lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana has urged the Lagos state government to commute the death sentence passed on inmates to life imprisonment.
Falana said the planned execution of death row inmates would violate a subsisting judgement deceived by the Lagos state High Court 2012.
The court had ruled that it is illegal and unconstitutional to execute condemned inmates.
But in his argument, Falana in a letter dated April 19, said executing inmates by firing squad will be a violation of their fundamental human rights to freedom of torture as guaranteed by the constitution.
He further advised the Lagos state governor Akinwunmi Ambode that the only available option is to commute these death penalties to life imprisonment.
Falana said: “On the basis of the valid and subsisting judgment of the Lagos High Court on the illegality of the execution of the death penalty in Lagos State we urge Your Excellency not to sign a death warrant authorizing the killing of any condemned prisoner either by hanging, firing squad or any other means whatsoever.”
“In the circumstance, Your Excellency may wish to commute the death sentences of all condemned prisoners in Lagos State to life imprisonment forthwith,” the senior lawyer said.
“Although many persons have been convicted of armed robbery and murder and sentenced to death by the Lagos State High Court since 1999, your predecessors did not sign death warrants for the execution of any person on death row.
“Accordingly, all the convicts on death row have had the death sentences imposed on them commuted to life imprisonment,” Falana added.