ECOWAS Court halts execution of Edo death row inmate

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice has ordered the federal government and the Edo State Government to take Mr. Thankgod Ebhos’s name off the death row. Ebhos, who has faced imminent threat of execution since June 24, 2013 when he was taken to the gallows alongside four other inmates who were executed in Benin Prison, had been on death row for 18 years. Apprehension of his transfer to another prison for the purpose of execution had been lurking since then. Lawyers Without Borders, France, in a bid to preclude further executions in the state, had instituted an action against the federal and state governments at the ECOWAS Court of Justice on Ebhos’ behalf. The organization filed an application seeking an interim injunction restraining the respondents from executing Ebhos pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter before the court. The court established a proof of desire to appeal on the part of the convict and stated that in the light of such a desire, any move to enforce the death sentence would be a violation of article (4) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights which states that if a convict is executed without exhausting the avenues for appeal, it constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of the right to life.


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