The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) condemns in the strongest terms recent policy advise that governors begin to sign execution warrants. We are also concerned that the Nigeria prison authority is preparing to execute 5 condemned prisoners in Edo State despite that their cases challenging the signing of their execution is still pending in courts. This for us is not only a drawback on Nigeria’s human rights, it is a repudiation of Nigeria’s international commitment that it has in place an unofficial moratorium.
The official government statement made during the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on 9th February, 2009 where while informing the UN that the ‘’Death Sentence’’ is a valid part of Nigerian Law, it was admitted that: ‘Nigeria, is however, not oblivious of the global debate on the propriety or otherwise of the death sentence. In the spirit of the global trend, Nigeria has constituted a National Committee on the review of the death sentence. With regard to the moratorium on death penalty, though we voted against it in the UN General Assembly resolution, Nigeria continues to exercise a self imposed moratorium’.
More recently after the Governors Forum hinted that execution of death row inmates was their solution to prison decongestion, the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN in line with the official state policy said: ‘The Governors were not properly advised. I have written a letter and I will be discussing the issue extensively in the next meeting with the States Attorneys General ……(the death penalty) is anachronistic. It is no longer the trend and it is not an effective deterrent. Some people may not agree with me. Having given a moratorium we should not be seen to be violating it because it will attract sanctions from the United Nations’
We agree with the Attorney General that the Death Penalty, which though is no longer in use in Nigeria, is anachronistic and not an effective deterrent to crimes.
We therefore urge the Federal and state governments to retrace its steps and to observe its international commitments and obligations by leaving in place the moratorium on executions in Nigeria.
 Ojo Madueke, former Minister of Foreign Affair; Statement of Nigeria During the 4th Session of Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council
 Thisday Lawyer, Tuesday, August 10, 2010, page X