Nigeria: ECOWAS Court begins hearing in Nigerian death row case

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice on Tuesday adjourned until 17 February 2016 hearing in a case brought by a prisoner on death row challenging the provisions for mandatory death sentence in Nigeria’s statute books.

Hearing in the suit was adjourned following the absence of the defendant, the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Nnenna Obi is contending that the existence of these provisions were in conflict with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution and its obligations under various international instruments to which it is signatory.

Hon Justice Chijioke Nwoke, the Vice President of the Court who presided over the sitting, observed that the matter was coming up for the first time and that the defendant who had filed a preliminary objection was not represented in Court.

He directed that the notice of next date of hearing be served on all parties. Other judges on the panel were Hon. Justice Yaya Boiro, and Hon. Justice Alioune Sall.

The plaintiff was sentenced to death by hanging in 2005 for murder by a High Court sitting in the country’s South-east Anambra State Nigeria

In the suit, the plaintiff is asking the court to hold that her conviction for murder, which was subsequently confirmed by appellate courts, violated her fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person guaranteed under sections 33 and 34 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution and Articles 4 and 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which the country is a signatory.
-0- PANA SEG 19Jan2016

19 january 2016 23:01:35

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