The Nigerian Correctional Service has revealed that there are 3,298 inmates across the custodial centres in Nigeria on death row, with some having spent over 15 years in custody awaiting execution. The service has replaced the term “condemned criminal” with a more friendly term, “Inmates on Death Row”.
The death sentences are not always carried out immediately as there are long periods of uncertainty for the convicted while their cases are being appealed at higher levels. Many of these inmates have committed capital offences such as culpable homicide, armed robbery, and terrorism, among others.
The Nigerian Correctional Service engages these inmates in activities that will reform and modify their behaviour and make them better citizens of the nation. Inmates who do well and show signs of hard work, industry, and discipline are recommended for clemency to the relevant authorities.
Although executions of inmates on death row used to be carried out as and when due, there is now a moratorium on their execution. State governors who shy away from signing the death warrants have been encouraged to commute them into other sanctions.