The Supreme Council of Bishops has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to, through the instrument of presidential pardon, reverse the death sentence of the five people convicted to death by hanging for killing a herdsman.
The bishops, in a letter of appeal for presidential pardon, written to President Buhari, noted that Nigeria had witnessed too much bloodshed, hence the appeal for presidential pardon for the five convicts.
Recall that last week, a Yola High Court presided over by Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri, sentenced five men, Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi all of Demsa local government area of Adamawa State to death, for culpable homicide and for killing a herdsman.
They were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide which contravened Section 96 (1) (a) and Sections 79 and 221 (b) of the Penal Code of Laws of Adamawa State, 1997.
The convicts were said to have on June 1, 2017 at Kadamun Village in Demsa local government area, willfully and intentionally conspired and attacked three herdsmen rearing cattle, killed one of the herdsmen and threw his body into a river, and also attacked some cows.
Part of the letter, copies of which were sent to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Secretary To Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Mohammed Jibrilla; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Chief Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen and the Attorney General And Commissioner for Justice, Justice Silas Bala Sanga, reads: “We as a Council of Bishops, The Christian Community, and law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, totally condemn in strong terms, any shedding of blood or wastage of precious human life of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the account of the killing of an herdsman, whom we all know are the same perpetrators of heinous acts and crimes all over Our Nation Nigeria today, either by hanging or whatsoever means you have chosen to administer justice.”
The bishops said the appeal was in the interest of peace, and harmonious coexistence, “as the 2019 General Elections draw close.”
Read Full text of the letter below:
THE KILLING BY HANGING OF 5 YOUNG MEN ON MONDAY 11TH JUNE, 2018 FROM KODOMUN IN DEMSA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ADAMAWA STATE, NIGERIA SENTENCED TO DEATH BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION IN YOLA, ADAMAWA STATE OF NIGERIA PLEASE MUST STOP!
The Supreme Council of Bishops, World Episcopal Headquarters, Houston, Texas, United States of America, The Africa Episcopal Headquarters, Lagos, Nigeria, The General Assembly, All Our Seven Continental Episcopal Headquarters Globally, The Entire Body of Christ in Nigeria, and All Esteemed Nigerians of conscience and goodwill, humbly request for Special Presidential Pardon in respect to Five (5) Young Men sentenced to death by hanging for killing a herdsman in Kodomun, Demsa Local Government Area, of Adamawa State, Nigeria, in earnest, totally condemns and disapprove vehemently the death sentence passed on these 5 Young Men on Monday, 11th June, 2018, by a court of competent jurisdiction in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria, accused and charged for killing a herdsman.
Nigeria as Our Land, has suffered untold bloodshed from killings, maiming, traumatization of Our innocent citizens around Our North Eastern States, The North Central and Middle Belt Regions, as a result of the ongoing frequent attacks by the militia herdsmen times without number, and till date no adequate justice had been meted out on them commensurate to the lives and properties of our People lost.
We as a Council of Bishops, The Christian Community, and law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, totally condemn in strong terms, any shedding of blood or wastage of precious human life of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the account of the killing of an herdsman, whom we all know are the same perpetrators of heinous acts and crimes all over Our Nation Nigeria today, either by hanging or whatsoever means you have chosen to administer justice.
What Our Nation Nigeria sues for now in Our nascent democracy is, Peace and Tranquility, and not otherwise.
As the 2019 General Elections draws to a close, for the sake of Peace, and harmonious coexistence, We make a demand, and request the, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, The Vice President, The President of the Senate, The Chief Justice of Nigeria, The Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, The Secretary To The Government of The Federation, The Executive Governor of Adamawa State, and The Attorney General of Adamawa State Ministry of Justice to grant the five (5) Young men pardon, and to lend their official and governmental support in cancelling this sudden judgement and death sentence, by the court of competent jurisdiction in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria.
As Nigerian citizens, We remain law abiding and supportive of the current administration’s stride to uphold Peace and Order in Our various states of the Federation, thus, inasmuch as these five (5) Young men possess the right to live as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, We expect Our Government as well, to ensure the pursuance of Peace, safety and protection of Our Citizens’ lives and properties irrespective of class, religion, and social status.
God Bless Mr. President!
God Bless The Federal Republic Of Nigeria!
God Bless The Supreme Council of Bishops Worldwide!
Yours In God’s Majestic Service,
Archbishop Dr. P. Sunday,
Archbishop Dr. H. Parker,
Ecclesiastical Prelate Administrator,
Houston, Texas, United States of America, .
Bishop Dr. J. Onyegbulem,
Apostolic Nuncio And Prelate To Africa ,
Bishop Dr. J. Husein,
Ecclesiastical Prelate To West Africa,
Niamey, Niger Republic