Amnesty International says Nigeria is preparing to execute a fifth man, who had won a reprieve earlier this week after being taken to the gallows where four other convicted murderers were hanged. This man is to be shot by a firing squad.

Human rights lawyers say all five had been on death row for 16 years and more under sentences issued by courts when Nigeria was under a military dictatorship notorious for its unfair trials and for torturing prisoners to sign confessions.

Those circumstances in a country where capital punishment is mandatory for murder and armed robbery have the European Union and outraged human rights activists asking Wednesday why Nigeria is ending a seven-year moratorium on death sentences.

President Goodluck Jonathan has urged state governors to sign death warrants.