…2,500 inmates share 800 capacity’
By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Monsur Olowopejo
THE Lagos State Government, yesterday said it is examining the judgement of the Supreme Court affirming the death sentence passed on the General-Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, popularly known as ‘Reverend King’ as well as other murder convicts in the state.
In a question and answer session with newsmen, at the flag off of the yearly ministerial briefing of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, said the decision becomes imperative with the briefing coming from the prisons authorities regarding the condemned inmates in the state.
The Supreme Court recently, affirmed both the judgments of the trial court and the appeal court which convicted and sentenced Ezeugo to death by hanging for the murder of his church member, Ann Uzoh on January 17, 2007.
The State Commissioner for Justice said it has become necessary for the government to look at the issues considering that some convicts on death row are beginning to demand for certain rights, since they feel that no action will be taken towards their execution.
“This government is very strong on law and order. And the case is one of those that is under review. Like him, many others are on death row. And very soon, residents of Lagos will see the action of the government on it.
“There are lots of people on death row. There are some states that have been active in enforcing the judgement. I know that many had zeroed in on Rev King. I discussed his issues actively with the prison authority during my recent prison visit and it was on the instruction of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. That shows it is a sensitive issue.
“I have given you indication that we are moving towards that direction. The previous governors of this state have not signed the papers of any of those on death row. But the prison authority had informed that some of the convicts are beginning to think they have some rights. We are going to move in that direction, you will hear from me,” he added.
Beside, he elaborated that the government has re-opened the case of Hamzat Al Mustapha, who was allegedly fingered in the murder of the late Kudirat Abiola at the Supreme Court.
He said ministry through its directorate of legislative drafting and the Law Reforms Commission have been involved in the drafting, amendment and reforms of laws and regulations sponsored in collaboration with the House of Assembly and other Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
He noted that a total of 14 bills were passed into law while 12 are currently undergoing drafting process, emphasising that those laws enacted have impacted positively in the lives of residence.
He listed the laws to include the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund law, 2016, Kidnapping Law, 2016, State Environmental Protection and Management Law 2017 among others.