Death penalty is evil and should be abrogated, an Abuja-based lawyer and human rights activist, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, has said.
He said such punitive action has not yielded the desired result and should be abrogated in the country even as he decried the plight of the poor to access to justice.
Recall that Ajulo recently offered pro bono service which led to the rescue a teenager, Adeolu Bamiteko, from the hangman’s noose in Ekiti State.
Describing the feat as his landmark achievement in his career as a lawyer, he expressed happiness for saving the life of the teenager, stressing empirical evidence has shown that the death penalty is no longer required in Nigeria.
While sympathising with the boy’s harrowing experience while in cell, Ajulo noted: “This is the first time in my professional life that a minor will be let off the hook just by the grace of God through legal intervention. It is quite very rare.
“I remember one day I was talking to him and you know what this boy told me: he said anytime his name is called, it is either for food or he will not come back, because nobody calls condemned criminals. And when you call condemned criminals, two things happen. The possibility of returning back after answering that call is 50-50.
“I see it as a civic duty to humanity. It is a huge victory for us. It is a good victory for humanity. Today you see Boko Haram killing people. But here is an opportunity to save a soul. This is huge.”
He stated that Bamiteko’s poor background was responsible for the death sentence handed to him on June 30, 2017, by Justice J. O. Adeyeye.
Bamiteko and an accomplice, Ayobami Ojo, were charged to court for armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms in 2017.
But on hearing of the matter, and displeased with the judgment of the court, Ajulo rose in defence of Bamiteko and filed a Notice of Appeal in Appeal No. CA/EK/41C/2020 at the Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a unanimous judgment, the panel of justices thereafter discharged and acquitted Bamiteko.