Legal Defense Assistance Project (LEDAP) said it is creating a database with a number of organizations in South East Asia in order to determine the number of Nigerians in death row in those countries.
The national coordinator of the group, Mr. Chino Obiagwu said the plight of Nigerians in death row in those countries is a source of concern to him.
“The plight of Nigerians who are on death penalty abroad, especially South East Asia is an area of interest to us. We are trying to do a database with a number of organizations in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. We know that about 50 Nigerians are in death row in Vietnam, more than 200 in China and in total, it is estimated that there are about 650 Nigerians, either on death row or facing death penalty in South East Asia alone,” he disclosed while addressing newsmen in his Lagos office last Thursday.
His words: “Our concern is that most times, their trials are in foreign languages and there are no interpreters and there is no guarantee of fair trial. The last Nigerian that was executed was in July and frankly, there are obviously unfair trials because there are no interpreters when the cases were going on. We are going to pay great attention to that in addition to our position against the use of death penalty.”
Obiagwu said his organization is also seeking judicial intervention in stopping the bogus pension allowances being paid to former governors by different states across the country. “We have been in the court in Abuja fighting this cause since 2014,” he pointed.
The human rights lawyer also noted that his organization sued the ministry of education over the legality of free and compulsory primary education and junior secondary education in the country.
He said: “Under the Nigerian law as it is today, primary and junior secondary school is free and compulsory, it is a right. The reason is that the right to education is under chapter two of the 1999 constitution and they said that it is not justiciable, meaning that nobody can go to court to challenge that. But sections 17 and 18 say government should try and provide compulsory free primary education and free junior secondary education and so on and so forth.
“To that extent, it is not justiciable. But the national assembly went and enacted the Universal Basic Education Act, where they said that primary education is free and compulsory and junior secondary education is free.