Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, known more commonly as Reverend King, the General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly is to know his eventual fate today as Nigeria’s Supreme Court will give the final ruling on whether the Pastor should be hanged for murder or serve a sentence in jail.
The apex court which is presided over by Justice Walter Onoghen adjourned till today, the 26th of February 2016 to pass their judgement on the case at hand after listening to arguments from the sides of the prosecution and defense. Mr. Adeniji Kazeem the Lagos State Attorney general and Commissioner for justice alongside Mrs. Idowu Alakija, the Director of Public Prosecution and other Senior Counsel in the State have urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgement of the lower courts.
The case has been ongoing since 2006 when Rev. King was alleged to have attempted to murder seven people on the 22nd of July, 2006 by pouring petrol on them and setting them on fire. The burn victims included; Miss Onuorah Chizoba formerly known as Hope King, Olisa Chiejina, Uche Chukwu Iwoba, Vivian Ezeocha; Kossisochukwu and Nwere Jessica, who went on to testify as prosecution witnesses in the matter; the offence is punishable under Section 332 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2003. A seventh burn victim, Ann Uzoh King, died on August 2, allegedly from severe loss of body fluid caused by second and third degree burns.
Rev. King had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him but had been found guilty and sentenced to death on January 11, 2007 by the then Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja. He had precisely been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the attempted murder and death by hanging for the offence of murder. He had challenged the ruling before the Court of Appeal in Lagos, but the appeal was thrown out by Justice Fatimo Akinbami, who read the judgement, with two other members of the panel of Justices; Amina Augie and Ibrahim Saulawa concurring with the lead judgement. Unsatisfied with that judgement too, Rev. King had brought the matter to the Supreme Court who have fixed the final judgement for today.