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Nigeria Executions: They Almost Executed Him Secretly



On Tuesday, 25 June, Ebhos ThankGod was dragged to the gallows in Benin Prison, Nigeria. He was forced to watch as four men were hanged. He only escaped execution because, at the last moment…


The prison authorities realised that his death sentence, imposed by a military tribunal, required a firing squad. It had not been prepared. The Nigerian furniture maker had been on death row for 17 years, convicted of armed robbery. His son, Solomon, only learned that his father was about to be put to death when he read a local newspaper report that four men had been hanged.

“The morning after the four executions I knew that my day was on death row,” he told Amnesty International. “The article said there was still one person at risk of execution and I knew it was him. My two eldest sisters went down to the prison to try and find out what was happening.”

Solomon described his sense of despair at the news that his father may be put to death at any point from now on.

“My two eldest sisters went down to the prison to see him to get the full information about what was happening. When they came back they said he was sobbing. My sister said that was the second time she saw my father weeping,” he said.

“They had taken him to the gallows and asked him to write a will and told him that they should pass some of the things he had to me, because I’m the only son. They didn’t call us. They didn’t even ask him if there was anyone they could contact. They almost were going to kill him in secret.”

17 years waiting for death

Ebhodaghe Solomon was barely walking when Thankgod Ebhos, was sent to prison accused of armed robbery in 1988. Ebhos was eventually tried and sentenced to death by a military tribunal in 1995 – some seven years after his arrest.

At that time, Nigeria was under military rule. Military tribunals at the time denied defendants the right to appeal. Amnesty International raised serious concerns about the fairness of military tribunals in Nigeria during that period, which lasted until 1999 when Nigeria returned to civilian rule.

Ebhodaghe Solomon remembers when he first visited his father on death row. “I finally had the opportunity to see my father four years ago. I was around 21. I braced myself and I was happy to see him in good health, he was doing well,” Solomon said.

He describes how under a new regime of civilian rule, his father hoped he could appeal against his death sentence. “When we met, he spoke a lot about the family, about his intentions of working, earning money, going abroad. He loves to play music.

He learned how to handle musical instruments in the prison. He also loves to read and learned how to paint in prison. He is a very happy spirited person.” Ebhodaghe Solomon last saw his father four weeks ago.

“Nothing much had changed. He told me that his brothers, my uncles, had been trying to find lawyers to look into the case but every time they did that it would be unsuccessful. Many of the lawyers we had spoken to couldn’t help so all we can do is pray that god would bring him out because my dad has changed completely.”

Surprise executions

There are approximately 1,000 individuals on death row across Nigeria. The country has not executed any prisoners since 2006. But on 16 June, father’s day, things took a turn for the worse when President Goodluck Jonathan urged state Governors to sign death warrants for death row prisoners – this, in effect, allows federal prison authorities to proceed with executions of inmates on death row in prisons.

A week later the four inmates held at Benin Prison were dragged to the gallows and hanged. All still had appeals pending in their cases.

Their execution came only hours after a federal High Court had dismissed a lawsuit against three of the execution warrants. Lawyers acting on behalf of the men immediately filed an application for stay of execution. The Edo state Attorney General and the prison authorities ignored the judgement.

“The recent executions were an incredible shock to all of us,” said Lucy Freeman, deputy Africa director at Amnesty International. “Under Nigerian and international law, executions may not be carried out while any appeals are still pending.

By executing the prisoners, Nigeria has demonstrated a gross disregard for the rule of law and respect for the judicial process,” said Ms Freeman.

The relatives of those executed were not informed in advance. Solomon said his family are distraught, knowing that their father may be executed at any moment.

“I would ask the President why he has decided that my father should have his life taken,” he said.

Amnesty International is calling for an immediate halt on the execution of Thankgod Ebhos and an end to the death penalty in Nigeria.

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Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew



Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.

Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.

Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.

Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew

The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.

Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.

“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.

“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”

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Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest



Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest

Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.

The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.

After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.

Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.

“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.

“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”

Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.

He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.

“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.

“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”

Sahara Reporters

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CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says



CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says

Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.

Lekki, Ikoyi tolls will rise on February 1 – LCC - Ivory NG

According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.

Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.

Read the release report below;


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