Condemned 67-Year-Old Prisoner Granted Pardon 18 Years After


BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 10, (THEWILL) - Mother luck has smiled on a 67-year-old condemned prisoner, Mr.

Lasisi Yusuf, as he has been granted a state pardon by the Kogi State governor, Captain Idris Wada (rtd).

The pardon for Yusuf, who was condemned to death 18 years ago at the Kaduna Prison, came as a result of the intensive advocacy efforts of Avocats Sans Frontieres France (ASF France), a non-governmental organisation.

ASF's Communications Officer, Esther Akpa Eleojo Esther , said in a statement that Lasisi, a Kogi State indigene, was arrested over culpable homicide charges and was sentenced to death in 1996 by the Kogi State High Court of Justice .

He was transferred to Kaduna Prison in 1997 and had been on death row since then.

The statement said Lasisi's case was taken up by ASF France through its Saving Lives (SALI) project targeted at promoting international standards on human rights in Nigeria generally and, the restrictive pronouncement of capital punishment and abolition of death penalty specifically.

The statement listed other detainees released from prison as a result of ASF France's legal intervention to include Zuwaira Tukur, Fatima Haruna and Mohammed Isyaku, all of whom were also convicted of capital offences in Kaduna State.

"Statistics collated for 2013 alone show that over 140 death sentences were handed down in Nigeria bringing the total figure of those on death row so far to approximately 1,200.

"A total of 140 detainees on death row in Nigeria are currently benefitting from the free legal services being offered by ASF France on the platform of the SALI project," she said.

ASF's Angela Uwandu, while reacting to the pardon, commended Governor Wada for making a decision which she described as a sterling example for others who have such powers to emulate.

'What we are aiming for is the protection of the rights of humans whether they are inmates in prison or citizens on the street.

"ASF France is determined to continue its objective of contributing to the legislative and legal changes towards a restrictive application of capital punishment in Nigeria", she said.