Nigeria: Child tortured and sentenced to death
The pain of torture is unbearable. I never thought I would be alive till this day. The pain I went through in the hands of the officers was unimaginable. In my whole life, I have never been subjected to such inhuman treatment. –Moses Akatugba, February 2014
On November 27, 2005, Moses Akatugba, then only 16 years old, was awaiting the results of his secondary schools exams when he was arrested by the Nigerian army and charged with stealing three cell phones and various other communication-related items.
Moses describes being shot in the hand and soldiers beating him on the head and back during his arrest. He was initially held at the army barracks, where he said soldiers showed him a corpse and when he was unable to identify the dead man, he was beaten.
After being transferred to Epkan police station in Delta State he suffered further torture and ill-treatment. Moses told one human rights defender that the police severely beat him with machetes and batons, tied and hanged him for several hours in interrogation rooms, and used pliers to pull out his finger and toe nails in order to force him to sign two confessions.
Moses’ trial took place at the High Court in Effurun, Delta State. The investigating officer failed to show up and Moses was convicted solely on the basis of the victim’s statement (which Moses’ counsel claims to be full of inconsistencies) and the two confessions Moses made under duress.
After eight years in prison, Moses was sentenced to death by hanging. He was never given the chance to challenge the court for the alleged acts of torture suffered during his detention.
Today he sees his family just twice a month, as he sits and waits on death row.
Please send a letter to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State:
- Start with Your Excellency;
- Write a sentence about yourself;
- Call on him to discard Moses’ death penalty sentence; and
- Call on him to promptly open an independent investigation into Moses’ allegations of torture.
Address your message to:
His Excellency Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan
Governor of Delta State
Office of the Governor