Yesterday, Nigeria’s Supreme Court upheld Reverend King’s death sentencing as many Nigerians awaited the court’s decision with bated breath. Vanguard Nigeria reports that a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, confirmed the death sentence that was earlier handed to Ezeugo by the Lagos State High Court.
The verdict was delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta. “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,” he stated.
Before September 2006, when he was arraigned for murder after setting a few members of his church on fire, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo aka Reverend King was just a regular Nigerian pastor who shepherded the Christian Praying Assembly (CPA) located in Lagos. He was arraigned on September 26, 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder but he pleaded not guilty to all the charges. However he was sentenced to death by the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on January 11, 2007 for the murder of Ann Uzoh and an Appeal Court sitting in Lagos upheld his death sentence in 2013.
Although Reverend King has been in prison custody for the past 10 years, several members of his church CPA, have kept a revered image of their pastor, marking his birthday in absentia and even continuing with services. In 2014, the Nigerian Monitor reported that CPA members bought spaces in Nigerian dailies to extol Reverend King’s virtues while hailing him as the light of the world.
Nigerians have reacted to the news of King’s renewed death sentence and some tweets on twitter show that regardless of the charge against him, some Nigerians do not approve of his death sentence for their own reasons.