A Rutherford House and Amnesty International campaign has successfully lobbied for the freedom of Moses Akatugba, sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.
Akatugba is a Nigerian boy who was arrested at the age of 16 and then sentenced to death. Rutherford started their letter-writing campaign in January 2015 with the prefects composing a letter petitioning the governor of Delta State to commute Moses’ death sentence and investigate the use of violence in his interrogation process. The petition was widely supported by students, teachers and parents, raising almost a thousand signatures. The letter to the governor of Delta State, and the petition sheets containing all signatures were sent off in April with the help of Mr. Mo from Amnesty International.
Last week, Rutherford House heard the fantastic news that Moses was granted an unconditional pardon by the Delta State governor.
Youlim Song said: “While we cannot be sure that our petition led directly to his release, we would like to think that we have contributed towards this happy outcome. We can also be fairly certain that without the spotlight shone on his plight by people from all over the world, Moses would still be languishing in prison.”
“The campaign has been an eye-opening experience for students in Rutherford. We learnt a great deal about issues of human rights and how, as individuals, we can make a difference. We would like to thank everyone who listened to our story of Moses and helped by signing our petition.”
A message 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 shown to me will not be in vain, by the special grace of God I will live up to their expectations…
I promise to be a human rights activist, to fight for others.
Rutherford House is currently discussing how we can support Moses in his next step in life.