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By Godfrey Olukya  23-10-2012

Amnesty international has appealed to the government in Nigeria not to execute the two inmates supposed to face gallows anytime in this week.

The human rights organization has called for the appeals against death penalty by the inmates  to be respected and preparations of the gallows to be halted.

The two inmates face death after the Governor Edo State in the Southwest of Nigeria, Adams Oshiomhole, signed their death warrants. But according to Amnesty International, neither the convicted prisoners nor their families have been informed of the planned  execution in this week.

Amnesty International deputy programme director for Africa, Lucy Freeman said, ‘Going ahead with the execution of the two prisoners when their death sentence is still being challenged in the courts is a violation of human rights. The authorities must immediately halt any plans to execute them because they  are party to an ongoing appeal and the judicial process must be respected.’

She said that it was unbecoming and cruel for the inmates and their families not to be informed about time of execution.

‘Refusing to provide convicted persons and family members advance notice of the date and time of execution is a clear violation of human rights. It is cruel, inhuman and degrading. ‘she said.

Reports from Benin City prison, where the two inmates are held indicate that some inmates  were seen since Monday preparing gallows for the executions. Inmates not on death row were reportedly the ones made to wash the gallows.

It is alleged that the Governor of Edo State signed the execution warrants after prison authorities informed him that the death row inmates in Benin City prison were becoming unmanageable.Some death row inmates had been involved in a recent jailbreak incident in another prison in area.

‘Amnesty International insists that  to execute detainees purely as a method of controlling unmanageable inmates is arbitrary and a totally unacceptable violation of their right to life.’  Freeman said.

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