Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has urged Lagos governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to spare condemned prisoners death. Falana in a letter to the governor argued that executing the death row inmates, including Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Rev. King, the general-overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, will violate their freedom from torture. He cited a June 29, 2012 ruling delivered by Justice Mufutau Olokooba of the Lagos State High Court forbidding the execution of death row inmates by firing squad and urged the governor to rather commute their sentencing to life imprisonment.
“Although many persons have been convicted for 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.
“It is pertinent to draw the attention of Your Excellency to the case of Ajulu & Ors. V. Attorney-General of Lagos State (unreported) Suit No: ID/76M/2008 of 29th June 2012, wherein the Lagos State High Court held that while a person who commits murder may be sentenced to death it is illegal and unconstitutional to execute such death sentence by hanging or firing squad as it will lead to the violation of his fundamental right to freedom from torture guaranteed by the Constitution,” Falana stated.
The lawyer’s reaction was spurred by a statement by Adeniji Kazeem, state commissioner for justice, that a recommendation would be made for the execution of the condemned prisoners.