London -Amnesty International has said that Nigeria had yet to implement the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 25 years after it came into force.
This is contained in its 2010 report released, Tuesday in London.
“While some states in Nigeria have adopted state legislation to protect women from discrimination and violence, the UN Women’s Convention had yet to be implemented at the Federal and State levels, almost 25 years after its ratification,’’ it added.
The statement said that violence against women remained pervasive including domestic violence, rape and other forms of sexual abuse by state officials and private individuals.
“The authorities consistently failed to exercise due diligence in preventing and addressing sexual violence by both state and non-state actors, leading to an entrenched culture of impunity,’’ it stated.
It said that nearly 860 men and 11 women were currently on death roll in Nigeria, alleging that hundreds of them had not received a fair trial.
“No more than 58 people were also sentenced to death during this period,’’ it stated.
The statement observed that many had been held for years awaiting trial in appalling conditions.
It said few could afford the services of a lawyer and the government-funded Legal Aid Council had fewer than 100 lawyers.
The statement quoted the Ministry of Justice as saying that it arranged lawyers to take up cases of prisoners without legal representation.
“The scheme did not address the causes of delays in the criminal justice system,’’ it stated
It also observed that no step had been taken to implement the recommendations made in 2004 by the National Study Group on Death Penalty.
No step had also been taken to implement recommendations of the 2007 Presidential Commission on Reform of the Administration of Justice to adopt a moratorium on executions.
The statement, however, noted that at the fourth session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Human Rights in February 2010, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ojo Maduekwe, stated that Nigeria had continued to exercise “a self-imposed moratorium’ on executions.