The United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, has urged the Nigerian government to join the growing list of countries that have discarded capital punishment from their justice system.
The Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission in Nigeria, Joe Abuku, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
According to the statement, the British envoy made the call during an event to commemorate the World Day Against Death Penalty.
The Day is celebrated globally on October 10 every year.
Thompson said the use of the death penalty undermined human dignity in any case.
She said death penalty should be stopped to prevent the death of innocent individuals caught in the miscarriage of justice.
The envoy said: “It has been a long standing policy of the UK to completely oppose the death penalty in all circumstances for all crimes and that is because of the sanctity of human life.
“There is also no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value and we know that right across the world in all justice systems, miscarriages of justice do happen.
“When the death penalty has been acted, any miscarriage of justice becomes irreversible and irreparable and the impact on human life of that is truly devastating.
“Though some western democracies like the U.S still use the death penalty, I am pleased to say that there is a downward trend right across the world.
“We have about 141 countries that have either removed the death penalty from their statutes book or at least have in place a moratorium and are not actually implementing the death sentences.
“There are 57 countries that still retain the death penalty and Nigeria is one of them, but like me, my counterparts in countries across the world would be making similar calls for all of those countries that do retain the death penalty to move towards abolition.’’
Thompson said as much as people saw the need to hand terrorist and mass murderers a death penalty, there was evidence that the penalty helped promote the cause of terrorist groups.
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