Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
By Adibe Emenyonu
Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has faulted the claim of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over his signing of the death warrants of two convicts, Callistus Eke and Olu Fatogun, saying the commission got its facts wrong before making statements to the international community.
The governor, who was reacting to a petition signed, at the weekend, by the Executive Secretary of the commission and other human rights bodies, said: “Incidentally, the state government has actually not only granted Calistus Eke pardon but released him from prison. We have done much more than the people are asking us to do. So they got their facts wrong.
“Secondly, the human rights commission got it wrong to assume that Fatogun is to be executed.”
He said: “The case of Olu Fatogun was reviewed by the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy and they recommended that his death sentence be affirmed and carried out, but I refused the prayers. Instead, I ordered that the death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. Again the Human Rights Commission is wrong to say that I have authorised his execution.”
According to him, “I refused the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy to have him executed. The Human Rights Commission got their facts wrong. They were acting on the recommendation without waiting for my confirmation.”
Oshiomhole, who said he took the decision on September 26, noted that there are two other persons whose conviction he approved - Daniel Nsofor and Osayinwinde Agbomien.
He explained that Agbomien killed his victim, dismembered his body and buried the parts in different places to avoid detection, adding that when the convict was taken to court, he said his offence was a mistake but the manner in which he treated the body indicated that it was gruesome, premeditated and a wicked act.
Quoting excerpts of the Supreme Court judgment upholding Agbomien’s death sentence, the governor said “the likes of Agbomien belong to Hades (hell)”
On Nsofor, Oshiomhole said he approved his death sentence because after robbing his victim, a woman, of her possessions, he subjected her to horrendous torture and experience and thereafter killed her.
“The National Human Rights Commission was wrong. They must be seen to be painstaking in matters of life and death. They must check their facts right.
“The state does not exercise mercy on such persons. I decided to free those who didn’t kill to go and sin no more. However, we must send a clear message to criminals that they have no right to kill and live,” Oshiomhole stated.