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Published On: Thu, Jun 13th, 2019

Democracy Day: Gov. Obaseki reverses execution of 9 prisoners

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By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki had reversed the death sentence of nine prisoners on death row to life imprisonment.
He also approved the release of eight persons convicted for various crimes.
The measure which was in the exercise of the prerogative of mercy in line with the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, was in honour of Nigeria’s democracy.
A statement by the Secretary, Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Mrs Joyce Omotayo Ugbodaga, yesterday, said the action is in exercise of powers conferred on the governor under section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.
According to her, “This is to inform the general public that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, in exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, approved the immediate and unconditional release of some prison inmates on the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.”
The freed inmates are “Abu Dennis Ulubeka (M); Tirimisiyu Adebayo (M); Tajudeen Fabiyi (M) and Olufemi Ajayi (M).”
Others are “Charles Omowunmi (M); Kalu Ojeh (M); Mattew Idoko (M) and Robinson James (M).”
Those whose death sentences have been commuted to life include, “Okechukwu Maraire (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Armed Robbery; Osamede Abbey (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Armed Robbery; Godwin Alao (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Murder; Monday Iyalekhue (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Murder and Osaretin Idehen (M) found guilty but insane for the offence of Murder and confined in prison subject to Governor’s overriding order.”
Others are, “Omokefe Alao (M) found guilty for the offence of Murder and detained in prison at the pleasure of the Governor; Okechukwu Okafor (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of murder;
Ifeanyi Okafor (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Armed Robbery and Sunday Odion (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Armed Robbery.
She said the Prison Authorities have been directed to release the freed inmates with immediate effect, noting, “it is hoped that action will give hope to other inmates and motivate them to have a change of heart and be of good behaviour.
It is hoped that the freed inmates will reciprocate the good gesture of Mr Governor by turning a new leaf and living a crime-free life.”
Unlike his predecessor in office, Adams Oshiomhole who signed over three death sentence while in office, governor Obaseki now enjoy equal status with the former governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan who did not order any execution of prisoners on death row.

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