A death row prisoner in Nigeria is due to be executed by firing squad later this week after prison authorities dragged him to the gallows where they hanged four other men on Monday night, Amnesty International has learned.
They were the first known executions in the country since 2006.
Benin Prison authorities in Edo state had planned to hang the man along with the four others, but halted his execution after they realized his death sentence, imposed by a military tribunal, required that a firing squad carry it out.
Amnesty International understands that neither the prisoners nor their families were told of the executions in advance. Secret executions, where prisoners, families and lawyers are not informed beforehand, violate international standards on the use of the death penalty.
“Cruel and inhumane do not even begin to describe the nightmare situation facing this man – and it points to the spectacularly brutal nature of Nigeria’s sudden return to state-sponsored killing,” said Lucy Freeman, deputy Africa director at Amnesty International.