By Esther Onyegbula
A human rights group, Paths of Peace Initiative, weekend, called for the granting of amnesty and release of condemned Lagos cleric, Rev. King who has been awaiting execution in Maiduguri Correctional Center for about 15 years.
The group said in a strongly worded petition sent to the Governor of Lagos state, National Assembly, Prerogative of Mercy etc signed by the National President, Dandy Eze that his continued incarceration is a grievous injustice against Igbo race and humanity based on the fact that both Boko Haram terrorists who have been spilling blood all over the country and condemned notorious armed robbers have been released and given resources to start life afresh in the recent past in Nigeria.
According to the group, that is why we are compelled to strongly demand the granting of amnesty and unconditional release of Lagos based cleric and renowned man of God, Rev. King, who was erroneously condemned to death in 2006. “We consider his continued incarceration as a grievous injustice against the Igbo race in particular and humanity in general. This is because of the emerging ugly trend of events in the country where more than seven thousand members of the dreaded and notorious killer-gang, Boko Haram who have killed millions of Nigerians and still continue to pillage and decimate more including children, were given amnesty by Nigerian government.
“ Members of this deadly and criminal group are still been granted pardon and released from prisons and equipped with money, resources to better their lives till date while Rev. King, whose guilt is still contestable is left to languish in Maiduguri Prison as a condemned prisoner. Worse still, between 2006 and 2009, Lagos state government gave amnesty and freedom to more than 200 prisoners that were condemned. Majority of those freed were armed robbers caught in the act after smearing their criminal hands with innocent blood of Nigerians and foreigners. It must be noted that some of them were notorious killers and murderers and were also sentenced in 2006 November and some in 2007.
“Also, those that killed Mrs. Kudirat Abiola have been freed yet an innocent man, Rev. King, who was falsely accused of murder is still in prison just because he is not connected to the government of Lagos state or Nigeria. From the foregoing, it is obvious and glaringly clear that the Holy man of God, Rev. King who has spent about 15 years in prison over frivolous allegations should not be left to continue suffering.”
The group further stated that “It is, therefore, obvious that Nigerian’s tribulations of late should be attributed to this injustice for touching the Lord’s anointed. We are, therefore, calling for his immediate and unconditional release and granting of amnesty. He should not be allowed to stay a day longer in prison.”