BY Pamela James
Following the Supreme Court’s approval of Miss Rabi Ismail’s death sentence in Abuja, Nollywood stars have described the death penalty as ‘ barbaric and outdated” and therefore appealed to the government to temper justice with mercy.
Reacting to the judgment, Mr. Segun Arinze, the president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN) said, “in this present age, death penalty should be the last option of punishment for anyone who is found guilty of committing a crime that merits death sentence”. He therefore appealed to the federal government to temper justice with mercy.
“ We have passed this age. I sincerely appeal to the government to temper justice with mercy. Rather than sentencing her to death by hanging, they can commute it to life imprisonment. If actually she is guilty of the offence she has been accused of, let her live with it throughout the rest of her life.” Arinze appealed.
Also reacting to the judgment, actress Kate Henshaw-Nuttal described it as “barbaric and unacceptable in this 21st century.” Expressing shock, she muted ,”it’s terrible and I don’t subscribe to it. It’s barbaric in this 21st century. We shouldn’t be asking government to temper mercy with justice. ”
Government should tamper justice with mercy. We are not in the medieval age.”
For AMP president, Paul Obazele who was dumbfounded upon hearing the news, death penalty should be unthinkable.
Rabi Ismaila, an actress based in Kano has been standing trial since 2002, after she allegedly administered sedative drugs on her boyfriend, Mr. Ibrahim Auwalu ailas Zazu. She was sentenced to death in 2005.
Ismail had gone to the Supreme Court, to challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal Kano Division that convicted and sentenced her to death by hanging.