The Supreme Court in a unanimous judgment today Friday, February 26, has upheld the rule that the convicted General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, popularly known as Rev. King should die by hanging.
With a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, the court dismissed the appeal earlier lodged before it by the convicted clergy, upheld the death sentence earlier delivered by the Lagos State High Court.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Ngwuta said:
“This appeal has no merit. The judgement of the court of appeal is hereby affirmed. The prison sentence that was earlier handed to the appellant is no longer relevant in view of the death sentence passed on him.”
Rev. King who was charged to court by the Lagos State Government in September 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder of one of his members, Ann Uzoh on August 2nd 2006, challenged the court’s rule sentencing him to death by hanging.
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. King was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the attempted murder and death by hanging for the offence of murder by Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja on January 11th 2007.
Dissatisfied with the court ruling,the controversial pastor approached the Lagos state Court of Appeal but his appeal was thrown out and the High courts verdict upheld.
“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.”
Still not satisfied with the Appeal Court ruling,King headed for the Supreme Court.
Lagos State Attorney general and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, who appeared before the Supreme Court alongside Mrs. Idowu Alakija, the Director of Public Prosecution and other Senior Counsel in the State, had urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower court.
The Supreme Court under Justice Walter Onoghen adjourned till today to give judgment after listening to arguments from counsel to prosecution and defence in the matter.