We the undersigned call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to urgently use his good offices and position in the region to call on the Gambian authorities to stop the execution of two Nigerian citizens, Micheal Ifunaya and Stanley Agbaeze as well as other 38 condemned prisoners awaiting execution in The Gambia.
It would be recalled that President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia ordered the execution of 9 out of 47 prisoners; including a woman, on the 26th of August 2012 in flagrant disregard to rule of law and due process.
We believe that in a democracy, due consideration should be given to rule of law and strengthening human rights and the dignity of human life and person within the purview of international human rights instruments.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in November 2008, at its 44th Ordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria, adopted a resolution calling on African States that still retain the death penalty to “observe a moratorium on the execution of death sentences with a view to abolishing the death penalty.”
While we respect the sovereignty of Gambian State, we condemn this odious act against human rights of its citizens and foreign nationals, alike.
We believe that Gambia’s president action is cruel and that the abolition of penalty would contribute to deepening human dignity. Section 81(4) of the Gambian Constitution empowers the Gambian parliament to adopt a memorandum of execution before any execution can take place.
We urge President Goodluck Jonathan to lead in the campaign to save these Nigerians from the impending death that awaits them in the Gambia.
This petition closed over 2 years ago
To condemn the execution of nine persons including one woman by the Gambian government on the 23rd day of August 2012. We view this as a flagrant disregard of the rule of law. Section 18 of the...
To condemn the execution of nine persons including one woman by the Gambian government on the 23rd day of August 2012. We view this as a flagrant disregard of the rule of law. Section 18 of the 1997 constitution of the Gambian provides that the death sentence shall not be imposed for any offence unless the sentence is prescribed by law and the offence involves violence, or the administration of any toxic substance, resulting in the death of another person but with a caveat that the same law shall be reviewed ten years after its coming into force. Fifteen years into the passage of this law, same has not been reviewed therefore making it inchoate. This execution also violates the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the inviolable rights to life and dignity of human person as encapsulated in its Article 4 and 5 of the Charter.
It is obvious that the Gambia under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh has violated both National and International laws on these executions. The Centre for Democracy and Development opposes the death penalty in all circumstances because it is unique in its cruelty and finality, and is plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.
We implore the Gambian authorities to immediately halt all scheduled executions and to overhaul all its extant abusive penal laws.
We also call on the African Union and ECOWAS to urgently act to hold the government of Gambia accountable for the total disregard of its National laws and its obligation under the African Charter to refrain from the use of death penalty.
CDD calls on the Gambia and other African states that still impose the death penalty to abolish it and follow the trend in African Union states that have abolished the death penalty. We also call on the ECOWAS Commission to as a matter of urgency prevail on Yahya Jammeh to stop the execution immediately as it sends wrong signals to other ECOWAS member states and encourages fragrant abuse of human rights.
CDD wishes to express its compassion to all the people affected. We also reiterate our readiness to work together with all human rights groups and organizations in the West African region and globally to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of all Gambians and West African Nationals.
We call on all stakeholders to wade in to stop further executions in Gambia.
Credit: Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)