Patrick’s case is quite tragic. He was evidently a minor when he was ‘alleged’ to have commited the robbery and kidnapping for which he received a death sentence on May 30, 1997. His case is symptomatic of the essential nature of the justice system in Nigeria: from poor investigative techniques and skills of the police, to the poor representation by counsel. Indeed, it is difficult to exculpate the bench going by Amnesty International report. Why would the initial trial judge proceed to try a minor as if he were an adult? This case is just so confusing that you wonder if Amnesty International told the ‘whole truth’. I have no iota of doubt that they did. Now, the sensible thing is for the Governor to unconditionally grant Patrick clemency in exercise of his prerogative of mercy. Read full report here http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/cases/nigeria-patrick-okoroafor including background information on Patrick Okoroafor; prison conditions; and Nigeria’s normative international human rights obligations herehttp://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/cases/nigeria-patrick-okoroafor/background-information-on-patrick-okoroafor.
The Amnesty International report concludes thus ‘Nigeria’s current prison system and legal proceedings are corrupt and inhumane. Individuals are being arrested arbitrarily and prisoners are being denied basic human rights. It is not uncommon for Nigerian citizens to be convicted of a crime they did not commit, presumed guilty before they stand trial or be denied an appeal processes. In some Nigerian states, the police and legal systems have devolved into corrupt bribery motivated networks’
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