Nigeria: the rocky road towards abolition

How long will the country continue to apply the death penalty?

The last execution was carried out in 2016. Today, over 2,500 people held in Nigerian prisons are sentenced to death. In 2018, the country had the highest number of people facing the death penalty in sub-Saharan Africa. For the last decade, the NGO Avocats sans Frontières France (ASF) has been providing free legal counsel to people facing capital punishment and has been raising awareness around death penalty.

Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu is a human rights lawyer and the Head of Office for the Nigerian mission with ASF France. She oversees human rights projects advocating against torture, extra judicial killings, death penalty and arbitrary detentions in Nigeria. Prison Insider asked her three questions.

The government is reluctant to provide us with official figures

Prison officials consider that people facing capital punishment are more prone to violence, which results in a higher level of severity.

I do think that one day Nigeria will abolish capital punishment, but it will be a gradual process.