In separate statements issued in Abuja on Tuesday, they expressed displeasure that after seven years of break, Nigeria has again resumed execution of its citizens.
They therefore, called on Nigerian government to halt future executions and to put machinery in motion to amend the constitution to put a permanent stop to death penalty.
European Union have condemned the recent execution of four prisoners in Edo state, urging authorities across Nigeria to halt future executions.
“I am deeply saddened that four prisoners were executed in Edo State, Nigeria yesterday. These executions, the first since 2006, end Nigeria’s seven year moratorium on the death penalty.
“This is a serious setback for human rights in Nigeria, coming only a few months before the Universal Periodic Review of Nigeria by the UN Human Rights Council. We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances.
“There is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value. It is particularly concerning that there are reportedly around 1000 prisoners currently under sentence of death in Nigeria, and I would urge the Nigerian authorities to halt any further executions,” Mark Simmonds, a Minister for Africa in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated.
Also, a statement issued by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton in Abuja reads, “1 deeply regret the execution of four prisoners yesterday in Edo State, Nigeria. This represents a break of a 7-year moratoihim on the death penalty and is a most regrettable setback to Nigeria’s human rights record.
“It goes against the commitment repeatedly made by the Nigerian authorities, most recently at the EU-Nigeria human rights dialogue held in Abuja in March and at the annual Ministerial meeting in Brussels in May 2013, to maintain the de facto moratorium on executions.
“I recognise the serious nature of the crimes involved and express my sympathy to the families and friends of the victims. However, executions can never be justified. I reiterate the longstanding opposition of the European Union to the use of the death penalty and recall the importance of UN Resolutions calling for the establishment of a moratorium as a first step towards abolishing the death penalty.
‘1 urge the Nigerian authorities to refrain from further executions and urge State Governors not to sign execution warrants. I call on Nigeria to join the strong abolitionist trend which prevails on the African continent. As a first step towards abolition, I strongly encourage Nigeria to amend its legislation in order to end the use of the death penalty as sole sentence for a number of crimes.