By Dipo Awojobi – The Supreme Court yesterday in Abuja said it would on February 26, 2016, pronounce judgment in the appeal filed by Rev. King, the General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly a.k.a Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, challenging the judgment of a Lagos High Court which sentenced him to death by hanging.
The court, presided over by Justice Walter Onoghen, adjourned for judgment after entertaining arguments by the prosecution and the defence in the matter, Bola Akingbade, the Deputy Director of Press & Public Relations of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, said in a press statement.
According to the statement, the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Adeniji Kazeem, who appeared before the Supreme Court alongside Mrs. Idowu Alakija, the Director of Public Prosecution and other Senior Counsel in the State, urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower courts.
Ezeugo was arraigned on September 26, 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder.
He pleaded not guilty to the allegation but was sentenced to death by the then Justice Joseph Oyewoleof Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on January 11, 2007 for the murder of one of his church members, Ann Uzoh.
Justice Oyewole is now a judge of Appeal Court sitting in the Calabar division.
The Lagos State Government had said that the convict poured petrol on the deceased and five other persons and that Uzoh died on August 2, 2006; 11 days after the act was perpetrated on her
Specifically, Ezeugo was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the attempted murder and death by hanging for the offence of murder.
Dissatisfied, Ezeugo challenged the verdict before the Court of Appeal in Lagos, but the appeal was thrown out.
’’I hereby rule that the prosecution effectively discharged the burden of proof on it. This appeal is devoid of any basis and accordingly fails.
“The judgment of the High Court is hereby affirmed, and the conviction imposed on the appellant, (which is death by hanging) is also affirmed,” Justice Fatimo Akinbami who read the judgement held. The two other members of the panel of Justices, Amina Augie and Ibrahim Saulawa, concurred with the lead judgement.
Ezeugo, still dissatisfied, turned to the Supreme Court seeking that it should upturn the judgment.