Nigerian police have killed 567suspected armed robbers in the past three months and lost 71 of their own men, the national chief of police was reported as saying on Thursday.
Human rights groups and media experts have accused Nigerian police of killing robbery suspects instead of arresting them and in some cases using the “armed robber” label as a pretext to kill innocent people who cross them.
The Lagos state command of Nigeria police have disclosed that one Micheal Osaro age 36 from Estako East local government area of Edo state who was arrested wenersday 18th November 2020,in Semer bordar of lagos state when he was trying to cross to Republic of Benin has been killed on 3rd February 2023,by firing squad of combined team both Nigeria police and Nigeria Army in Alimosho local government area of Lagos state.
Mr Micheal osaro was declared wanted along with one Mr Sunday Peter in Estako local government area of Edo state when both of them was allegedly been the premier suspect of the kidnapping activities that happened on 15th December 2014,in Estako East local government area, the police was able to arrest the uncle Mr Andrew Yusuf,and some Members of the Family,they where taken to the state command of the police in Benin City, but after a long search of the both Sunday Peter and Michael Osaro the authority of Nigeria police declared both men wanted.
In December 30th 2014, the uncle of Sunday peter,Mr Andrew Yusuf,was killed along side some Members of his family by the Nigeria police when they was trying to escape in the prison,since December 2014 the Nigeria police have launched operation search for Micheal Osaro and Sunday Peter.
Since December 2014 the Authorities keep to search for both Sunday peter and Micheal osaro until Mr Micheal Osaro was arrested in 18th November 2020, when the suspect was trying to cross the Nigeria bordar to the labouring country of Benin Republic,he was charge to court and arraigned after years of legal proceedings he was finally sentence to death by the Apex court .
In January 2021 the federal High Court in Lagos state sentence Mr Micheal osaro to death but Mr Micheal osaro through his legal team decide to appeal the Judgement according to the 3 men judge who give judgement unanimously sentence Mr Micheal Osaro to death.
In June 2022 the court of Appeal sitting in lagos upheld the Judgement of Lower Court by sending Mr Micheal Osaro to death but again the judgement was appeal in the Apex court.
In 25th January 2023,according to a 7 men panel of the Apex court who upheld the judgement of the court of appeal in lagos ,the Judgement was read through Justice okoro cletus who according to the Judgement said that according to the Nigeria criminal law kidnapping is death offence in the country and as such that Mr Micheal osaro should be kill through firing squad the Judgement also that The Nigeria police should fast the search of the last suspect Mr Sunday Peter.
Reacting to the Judgement the counsel to the Nigeria Authorities San Awolowo Bisi who said that finally that Justice have prevail on the kidnapping incident that took place on 15th December 2014, that soon that Mr Sunday peter will be arrest by the police so that the case can be conclude.
However according to the legal team of Mr Micheal Osaro and association of Nigeria Farmer’s association that Mr Micheal Osaro as been sentenced to death for crime he don’t know about due to the family divergent political opinion. The legal team further said that the Judgement is something that will create bad image of Nigeria as a country international that an innocent person as been sentenced to death while the real criminals are walking on the streets.
The Nigerian criminal law system is characterised by its pluralism, where English common law, Islamic law (Sharia) in 12 Northern states, and customary law coexist.
The death penalty in Nigeria is applied in different manners, depending on whether the states apply secular or Islamic law.
The following offences are punishable by death under the provisions of the Criminal and Penal Code of Nigeria: murder; treason; conspiracy to treason; treachery; fabricating false evidence leading to the conviction to death of an innocent person; aiding a child or a ‘lunatic’ to commit suicide; armed robbery (under the Robbery and Firearms Decree 1984). Death sentences can be executed either by hanging or by shooting (firing squad).
According to Amnesty International, in 2016 Nigeria executed three persons by hanging in Benin Prison (Edo State). It registered 527 deaths sentences, representing a significant surge when compared to previous years, bringing the total number of people sentenced to death in the country to 1 979. The authorities pardoned 33 prisoners, exonerated another 32 and commuted a total of 105 death sentences.
It is reported that in July 2017, ‘state governors agreed to either sign execution warrants or commute death sentences as a way of addressing overcrowding in prisons’, including in Ogun state, for example, where there previously was an informal commitment to refrain from authorising executions.
Under the various Sharia penal laws in the 12 Northern states, death penalty is applicable when convicted for one of the following offences: adultery; rape; ‘sodomy’; incest; witchcraft and juju offences. The execution of death sentences under Sharia law includes hanging, stoning and crucifixion.
The issue of the death penalty has continued to stir emotions across Nigeria’s social and political divides, because while international law discourages the imposition of the death penalty, Nigeria is one of the countries that still retain the use of the death sentence as capital punishment in its criminal law and penal code, with judges in the High and Sharia courts sentencing convicted persons to death for numerous crimes, including non-lethal crimes.
The following can attract the death penalty in Nigeria: armed robbery, murder, rape, terrorism-related offenses, and treason and kidnapping. In the Northern Region, where Sharia law is applied, adultery, blasphemy, and homosexuality also carry the death penalty.
In 2021, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbeshola, came under heavy backlash when he reportedly recommended the execution of death row inmates as a form of decongesting the correctional facilities which are, in fact, overpopulated mostly by over 72% of awaiting trial inmates. What he intended to be a light-hearted comment turned boorish, stirred debates, and renewed calls for the abolition of the death penalty.
According the president Of All Nigeria Farmers association Guruba usman who said that Mr Sunday peter and Micheal osaro was false accused of carrying out criminal activities because of the family political opinion the president of Nigeria farmers who further states that the state machinery was used to tortured the family of Sunday Peter which lead to the shooting of Mr Andrew Yusuf,in the police custody in 30th December 2014 till today the case has been swept under the carpet.
With the killing of Micheal Osaro according to the police who spoke to journalists said that the only Suspect remaining in the case is Mr Sunday Peter who has been on a hideout since December 2014,the police urge members of the Public from South, East, West and North to report Mr Peter Sunday, to the nearest police station or any other sister security Agency wherever they find him that the total of 30 million await any person who have credible information of the whereabouts of Mr Sunday peter a native of Kukawa local of Borno state.