A human rights group, Paths of Peace Initiatives, has pleaded to the appropriate authorities to grant amnesty to Chukwuemeka Ezeugo simply known by his sobriquet, Rev King, who has been in awaiting the hangman noose at Maiduguri Correction facility after he was found guilty of murder.
Reverend King, a Christian preacher from Anambra State rose to national recognition in 2006 following the murder of a church member, Ann Uzoh in Lagos premises of the worship centre. He was subsequently tried and condemned to death after a protracted legal battle got to the Supreme Court.
In a petition to Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, by Paths of Peace Initiatives and copied to The Presidency, Prerogative of Mercy, National Assembly, Abuja, Amnesty International, and the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, the group pleaded the incarcerated Rev. King should immediately be granted amnesty and unconditional release from Maiduguri prison.
The petition endorsed by Dandy Eze, the National President, the human rights body said they are compelled by the prevailing situation in the country to strongly plead to the authorities to grant amnesty and release the Lagos based cleric and renowned man of God, Rev. King, who was condemned to death in 2006, a judgment endorsed by the Supreme Court.
“We consider his continued incarceration as a grievous injustice. This is in consideration of the emerging ugly trend of events in the country where more than seven thousand members of the dreaded and notorious killer-gang, Boko Haram who have killed millions of Nigerians and still continue to pillage and decimate more including children, were given amnesty by the Nigerian government.
“Between 2006 and 2009, Lagos State government gave amnesty and freedom to more than 200 prisoners that were condemned. The majority of those freed were armed robbers caught in the act after smearing their criminal hands with the innocent blood of Nigerians and foreigners. Some of them were notorious killers and murderers and were also sentenced in 2006 November and some in 2007.
“From the foregoing, it is obvious and glaringly clear that the Holy man of God, Rev. King who has spent about 15 years in prison over frivolous allegations should not be left to continue to suffer and be considered for pardon,” he stated in the petition.
The group, therefore, call on the authorities for the immediate and unconditional release and granting of amnesty to Rev. King.
“We would hasten to add that we will not relent in our genuine and patriotic advocacy until Rev. King is freed,” Paths of Peace Initiatives emphasised.