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Justice minister says Nigeria will respect West Africa court injunction restraining executions

Nigeria's justice minister says the government will respect a West African court ruling ordering the country to stop carrying out executions.

There are more than 1,000 prisoners on death row in Nigeria. Edo state last year broke a seven-year moratorium by hanging four convicted murderers. The executions came after President Goodluck Jonathan told governors to sign death warrants.

Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke says Nigeria will abide by a recent injunction from the court of the Economic Community of West African States and by its commitment to a moratorium on executions while it continues a national dialogue on whether to abolish or retain the death penalty.

He spoke at a meeting Thursday with U.N. human rights commissioner Navi Pillay. Adoke said the sensitive issue is complicated by Nigeria's federal nature.