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ASF France rounds off 2nd Phase of SALI project for judicial stakeholders


Avocat Sans Frontieres France (ASF France), in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Access to Justice and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has concluded a second practical workshop for judicial stakeholders in Edo state, which aimed at debunking pervading but erroneous beliefs about capital punishment.

Through the platform of its Saving Lives (SALI) project, ASF France has been providing forward thinking scenarios and resource materials designed to challenge insidious attitudes held by many towards the death sentence.

The pervasion of several myths about capital punishment has led to a weakening of the fabric of justice in Nigeria. Such myths include the belief that only persons who are truly guilty are sentenced to death or that the death sentence serves as a deterrent to potential criminals.

ASF France believes that such attitudes permit the abortion of justice and facilitate the mandatory pronouncement of the death penalty. The event highlighted the need to enforce the rights of detainees in Nigerian prisons especially in view of the recent ECOWAS court ruling in favour of ASF France on behalf of a death row detainee in Benin prison, Thankgod Ebhos.“The ultimate goal is to encourage judicial stakeholders to work towards a more restrictive pronouncement of the death penalty” said Angela Uwandu, the Head of Office, ASF France. The workshop which held on March 18, 2014 brought together stakeholders from the criminal justice sector including members of the Prisons, Police, Ministry of Justice, NBA, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON) and NHRC to reinforce the principles of justice and human rights discussed during the first workshop.

The  workshop, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and French Development Agency (AFD) marked the end of the second phase of the SALI practical workshops, which have been held in Abuja, Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Lagos and Plateau so far.