THE Nigerian Supreme Court has affirmed the death sentence passed on Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, aka Reverend King, general-overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, by a Lagos high court in Ikeja for the murder and attempted murder of some members of his church in 2006.
In the judgment read by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta remarked: “The fact of this case could have been lifted from a horror film.”
Ezeugo was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, the then trial judge of the Lagos high court on January 11, 2007. Oyewole is a judge of the Court of Appeal.
A five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, on Friday, February 26, dismissed the appeal filed by the convict against the concurrent judgments of the Lagos high court in Ikeja and Lagos division of the Court of Appeal, which had both convicted him of the alleged crimes.
Ezeugo was arraigned before the Lagos high court in Ikeja on September 26, 2006 on six counts of murder of Ann Uzoh, a member of his church, and attempted murder of five other devotees. He allegedly poured petrol on the deceased and the five other victims and set them on fire.
Uzoh, one of the victims, died on August 2, 2006, 11 days after the incident, as a result of the injuries said to have been sustained from the burnt.
Ezeugo had appealed to the Court of Appeal against the judgment of Oyewole.
But the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the Lagos High Court on February 1, 2013.
The Justice Amina Augie-led three-man panel of the Appeal Court, unanimously dismissed Ezeugo’s appeal, saying that the prosecution had “surely and effectively” proved its case against him at the trial court.
Justice Fatima Akinbami who read the lead judgment had dismissed the appellant’s contention that there were “contradictions and inconsistencies” in the prosecution’s evidence.
— Feb 26, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT