Wed, 15 May 2024 Headlines

Nigerian Senate passing death penalty for drug traffickers ‘very retrogressive’ — Madina MP

Francis-Xavier Sosu, a Ghanaian human rights lawyer and Member of Parliament for MadinaFrancis-Xavier Sosu, a Ghanaian human rights lawyer and Member of Parliament for Madina

Nigeria's move to impose the death penalty for drug trafficking has been described as "very retrogressive" by Francis-Xavier Sosu, a Ghanaian human rights lawyer.

The Nigerian Senate passed for a third reading this month, a bill that would make drug trafficking a capital offence, allowing for the execution of people convicted of the crime.

However, the tough new measures have received pushback from human rights advocates.

In a post on X on Wednesday, May 15, Mr. Sosu said: "As a Regional leader, Nigeria should be leading the way of progressive laws considering that punishments have evolved from retribution to restorative."

The Member of Parliament for Madina in Ghana’s Greater Accra region further argued that the death penalty violates fundamental human rights and risks the execution of innocent individuals due to flaws in legal systems.

“There is avalanche of research that shows that Death Penalty does not serve as a deterrent to crime and often disproportionately affects marginalized communities," Sosu stated.

The Ghanaian lawmaker pointed out that most of Africa is moving away from capital punishment.

“Africa is striving to move away from the death penalty with 29 African Countries including Ghana recently joining the list in 2023," he wrote.

Sosu urged Nigeria to focus on "rehabilitation and restorative justice rather than resorting to the irreversible act of taking a life."

He stressed, "The sanctity of life must be a value so ingrained in Nigeria's social psyche that it must not be gambled away with judicial uncertainties."

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished