Moses Akatugba pardoned

28 May 2015, 00:00 UTC | Nigeria

Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State, has granted a total pardon to Moses Akatugba, who was sentenced to death by hanging for stealing mobile phones. 

Thank you to the thousands of you who took action for Moses and urged the Governor to show mercy.

The news of his release comes days after thousands of you sent Facebook and Twitter messages to Governor Uduaghan asking him to make sparing Moses part of his legacy before he steps down on 29 May.

36,500 of you also signed our petition to the Governor, showing that together our voices really can make a difference – thank you.

A message to you, from Moses:

'I am overwhelmed. I thank Amnesty International and their activists for the great support that made me a conqueror in this situation. Amnesty International members and activist are my Heroes.

'I want to assure them, that this great effort they have show to me will not be in vain, by the special grace of God I will live up to their expectation.

'Justine Ijeomah is my champion, I will always pray for him in his human rights endeavour. I am grateful also to members and volunteers of human rights social development and environmental Foundation (HURSDEF) for there support.

'I promise to be a human rights activist, to fight for others. I am thanking the Governor for his kind gesture and for keeping to his words.'

Thank you for taking action

More than 35,000 of you signed our petition calling for the Nigerian authorities to commute Moses death sentence and investigate his claims of torture by the police in Delta state. We are continuing to monitor Moses' situation.

The Delta State authorities have received a huge amount of letters, cards and emails from activists around the world so far. Because of this, the Delta State Board of Mercy visited Moses and 118 other death row inmates on 27 June 2014.

The visit is part of the due process that the Governor of Delta State must follow to exercise his constitutional powers to grant a pardon for death row inmates. This is an important step towards Moses Akatugba's death sentence being commuted.

On 1 October 2014, the governor of Delta State released a video response following hundreds of messages on Facebook from Amnesty supporters, asking him to commute Moses' sentence.

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