Capital Punishment: Human Rights Coalition Commends Amnesty International

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…Tasks FG to commute death sentence on Rev King
Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Integrated Coalition for Human Rights (ICHR) has commended Amnesty International over its call for the abolishment of capital punishment (death penalty) in the legal system all over the world.

In the same vein, the coalition which pledged its commitment towards making Nigeria one of the beneficiaries called for the the death sentence on the Founder and General Overseer of Christian Praying Assembly, Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo a.k.a Rev. King to be commutted.

In a statement signed by its coordinator, Dr. Raphael Umoren, the coalition said the issue has been long overdue, adding that it calls for urgent attention from all the countries of the world.

According to him, so many cases of injustice have been carried out under the guise of capital punishment and a lot of innocent bloods have been shed as a result of perversion of justice especially in developing countries of the world.

He said, “This is the time to sanitise the system and call the attention of world leaders to the vexatious and obnoxious issue of death penalty.

“In Nigeria, we have recorded innumerable cases where justice was glaringly perverted and human beings sacrificed on the alter of pecuniary considerations. If not for the discretion of our democratic governors, many more would have been murdered the same way.

“A case in point which needs urgent attention is the miscarriage of justice against the Founder and General Overseer of Christian Praying Assembly, Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo a.k.a Rev. King, who was recently sentenced to death in Nigeria.

“His case was simply put, a travesty of justice and not in tune with modern day trials. The trial, prosecution and the eventual conviction by the Supreme Court of Nigerian falls short of all known legal procedure which warrants death sentence and we have called on the powers that be to commute the sentence without delay.

“We are saying this based on the premise that the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, while filing information against the accused conveniently omitted two written statements by the deceased where she stated unequivocally that Rev. King had no hand in what happened to her, rather, it was a generator accident.

“The DPP also omitted statements by the doctor that treated the victims to the effect that they told him upon arrival at the hospital that it was a generator accident.

“The case from day one was conducted on the original information that was undated, un-initialled and unfilled and this issue was raised by Rev. King but the court failed to consider and decide on it.

“Of particular note was the fact that most of the victims who claimed Rev. King doused them with fuel before setting them ablaze came to the court without any burn scar that authenticate their claims.”

Noting that the arrest of Rev. King from the first day after the ugly incident in 2006, was fraught with excessive power and indiscretion by the police, the Coalition said, “We will loose sense of history if we fail to record the misdemeanour and abuse of power by the police from day one.

“It is on record that the SARS team that invaded his house after the allegation made away with over N5.5m church harvest without warrant.

“Even after he was arraigned at the magistrate court on a 2-count charge of conspiracy, attempted murder of 7 members of his church, one of the female prosecution witnesses conspired with police and slammed an assault suit against him inside the court room while another witness said on oath that Rev. King never poured fuel on anybody and that was why she was not used at the trial in the high court.”