Lagos - Amnesty International is involved in
last-minute attempt to reverse the death sentence imposed on a 24-year-old
inmate for murder.
A day before Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan vacates
office, Amnesty appealed to the premier to commute Moses Akatugba’s sentence.
According to the human rights group, Akatugba, then a
student, was just 16 years old when he was arrested under suspicion of armed
robbery in Nigeria.
It is reported soldiers shot him in the hand and beat him on
the head before taking him to the police station where he was repeatedly before
he was forced to sign pre-written confessions.
Last year, Akatugba was
sentenced to death, after eight years awaiting trial in prison.
Also read: Don't scrap amnesty programme, Yoruba youths beg
It is said the sentence was based only on his forced
confession and the testimony of the robbery victim, which was full of
“Under international law, Moses never should have been
sentenced to death, as he was a child at the time of the crime. But the
criminal justice system in Nigeria is weak, blighted by corruption and human
rights violations. The use of torture is widespread and widely reported, but
most of the cases are not investigated,” said Adotei Akwei, Managing Director
of Government Relations at Amnesty International
Seven months ago, activists sent 500 000 messages in support
“Governor Uduaghan pledged to look into his case. But
Uduaghan's term in office ends on May 29 –tomorrow. It's imperative that he
sentence before he leaves office,” said Akwei.
- CAJ News