UK lauds release of Kaduna death row inmates

LAGOS: THE British High Commission has welcomed the release of two prisoners that were facing the death sentence in Kaduna State.

The prisoners were released in in Benin City recently.

In a statement, the commission hoped this would set a precedent for other states to uphold the moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Nigeria.

The commission sid the United Kingdom, along with other European Union Member States, was opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances.

According to the commission, the population of prisoners on death row in Nigeria has increased by almost 5 percent annually, from 610 persons in 2005 to 1220 persons in 2013.

“Nearly all death row inmates are Nigerian and many are mentally ill or in deteriorating ill-heath,” the commission bemoaned.

It said since 2011, legal groups had assisted with the legal defence of several prisoners facing the death sentence, most often resulting in their exoneration.