Lagos State government is set to execute inmates on death row in the state prisons, including the general overseer of Christian Praying Assembly, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, also known as  Rev. King, whose death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on February 26 last year. The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, who made this known at a news conference  yesterday in Lagos, said the development was at the instruction of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. He said that the state had begun reviewing the matter after prison officials complained of the highhandedness of some death row inmates who felt that they had certain rights which excluded them from
being executed. The Attorney-General assured that unlike previous administrations, Governor Ambode would sign the necessary documents to execute those on death row. According to him, “Very soon you will see the action of this government on that issues; we are reviewing the case on Rev. King and others on death row,” he said, adding that “lots of people are on death row. Rev. King is not the only one on death row; it is on the instruction of Ambode that I visited the prisons recently and I discuss the issue with the prison officials and they expressed their concerns. “We are moving in that direction of signing. The prison officials said we need to look at that seriously. Those on death row are beginning to think they have some rights. We are going to move in that direction; you will hear from me, but I will not tell you the exact date.” Rev. King’s case has been one of the most celebrated in the country’s judiciary history. The Supreme Court had on February 27, 2016, affirmed the death sentence passed on him by the Appeal Court. The condemned cleric was arraigned before the Lagos High Court in Ikeja on September 26, 2006, on six counts of murder of a member of his church, Ann Uzoh, and attempted murder of five other members. He was said to have poured petrol on the deceased and the five other victims and set them on fire for allegedly committing fornication. Uzoh died on August 2, 2006, 11 days after the incident, as a result of the injuries she sustained from the burns, which was said to be about 65 percent. The trial judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, now a justice of the Court of Appeal, had in his judgement delivered on January 11, 2007, convicted Ezeugo and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment on each of the five counts of attempted murder and death sentence for murder. The Supreme Court went on to affirm the general overseer to die by hanging. In a unanimous judgement, a seven-man panel of justices of the apex court led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, now Chief Justice of Nigeria, upheld the death sentence that was earlier handed to Ezeugo. Consequently, the court in its lead verdict that was delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta dismissed the appeal the convicted clergy lodged before it. Justice Ngwuta, who noted that “the facts of the case could have been lifted from horror film,” resolved all the 12 issues Ezeugo raised in his appeal.”
“This appeal has no merit. The judgement of the Court of Appeal is hereby affirmed. The prison sentence that was earlier handed to the appellant is no longer relevant in view of the death sentence passed on him,” Justice Ngwuta held. The charge against Ezeugo was at the instance of the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions. During the trial, the prosecution argued that the convict poured petrol on the diseased Uzor and five others. Aside 16 grounds of appeal he raised through his lawyer, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, Ezeugo was subsequently granted leave to argue additional 16 grounds based on an amended notice of appeal he filed on June 15, 2008. But was challenged by the Lagos State government through its Attorney General.


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