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Lawyers differ on the non-execution of those sentenced to death.
Some lawyers in Lagos on Monday expressed differing views on why court orders to execute death row inmates were barely enforced across the country.
Lawyers told The Tide source that many death row inmates sentenced to death over the years have been in various correctional centers at taxpayer expense.
They said that although the convicts had the opportunity to exhaust their rights to appeal the judgment all the way to the Supreme Court, the government should settle the matter.
In his opinion, Dr. Yemi Omodele, Senior Partner, Omodele Chambers, Ikeja, said that some State Governors refused to exercise their statutory duty to sign the death warrants for these inmates to be executed as required by the law.
He said other factors that inhibited action included pending appeals in appellate courts.
“There is a non-disclosure by correctional center authorities to state governors of sentenced inmates.
“The call for the abolition of the death penalty on a global scale also hinders the execution of the death penalty,” Omodele said.
He, however, advised the government to address all the factors hindering the process to reduce the waste of taxpayers’ money.
Omodele said executing death row inmates would serve as a deterrent to others and go a long way in reducing the crime rate in Nigeria.
According to Mr. Chibuikem Opara, Partner at Vindication Chambers, Ikeja, the only time a death sentence is carried out is when the state governor signs the death warrant.
He said the last head of state to sign such a document for the federal government was former President Olusegun Obasanjo, while Oshiomole was the last governor to sign for the states.
“It looks like none of them want to have blood on their heads,” he said.
Opara explained that after a death sentence has been imposed, the head of government has the constitutional right to exercise the prerogative of pardon by reducing it to life imprisonment or a sentence of years.
Mr. Chris Ayiyi, Senior Partner, Ayiyi Chambers, Apapa, said, “No law says that if the Governor of the State refuses to carry out the court order, the Governor will be removed or held in contempt.”
He advised reviewing the law and reducing it to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty, adding that most Western countries have already abolished the death penalty.
Mr. Bayo Akinlade, former President of the Bar Association of Nigeria, Ikorodu Branch, said: “There is a process for a judgment of this nature.
“The convict must be given time to appeal and until he has exhausted these rights he will not be put to death.”

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