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Title:Bello v. Attorney-General, Oyo State: an appraisal of the right to life in Nigeria
Author:Ogungbe, M.O.ISNI
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Nigeria
West Africa
Subjects:criminal procedure
capital punishment
appellate procedure
human rights
Justice, Administration of
Bello v. Attorney-General, Oyo State (legal case)
Abstract:This comment examines the criminal and tortious liabilities and the constitutional problems raised in the Nigerian case of Aliu Bello v. Attorney-General Oyo State. In this case, one Nasiru Bello had been convicted of the offence of armed robbery and was sentenced to death by the High Court. He appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. A copy of the Notice of Appeal was served on the Attorney-General of Oyo State. While the appeal was pending, the Attorney-General recommended the execution of Bello to the Governor. Following Bello's premature execution, his dependents instituted a suit in the High Court of Oyo State. The Supreme Court of Nigeria held that the premature execution was not only unconstitutional but also illegal and unlawful; that by execution, the deceased had lost both his right to life and the right to prosecute his appeal; and that the deceased's dependents had been unjustly deprived of the benefits of his life. Examining the Government's liability, both criminal and in tort, in the light of the constitutional provisions relating to the citizen's fundamental right to life, and with special reference to the decision in Bello's case, this comment concludes that the Criminal Procedure Law of Nigeria should be amended to provide for a stay of execution until a convict has exhausted his constitutional right of appeal. Notes, ref.