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There are 202 condemned convicts in kirikiri maximum prison


On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Lagos State,  Mr Adeniji Kazeem, during a press conference announced that the state government would do something very soon about condemned convicts in Kirikiri Maximum Prison.
According to him, when he visited the prison recently, officials did not only complain about the large number of condemned prisoners but also about their over confidence that they will not be executed. visited the Kirikiri Maximum Prison recently and discovered that there are 202 condemned convicts in the prison.
However, we were told by an official of the prison who spoke to us on condition of anonymity that the whole 202 are not from Lagos state alone. They are from Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo and Edo states.
According to him, only about 30 of them were convicted within Lagos State judicial jurisdiction.
Amongst these condemned convicts  from Lagos state are Okwumo Nwabufor and Olisaeloka Ezike, the killers of Miss Cynthia Osokugu, the post graduate student Nasarawa State University, who were convicted recently .
Reverend Chukwumeka Ezeugo, aka Reverend King, the General Overseer of Christian Praying Assembly, Ajao Estate, Lagos,  who was condemned to death by hanging in 2007 by a Lagos High Court, for setting fire on one Ann Uzor, a member of his church and was confirmed by the Supreme Court on February 26, 2016, was not among those in Kirikiri Maximum Prison.
We gathered that he is somewhere in one of the Prisons in the North East . But he is at the mercy or otherwise of the Lagos governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode. also learned that the   Block, aka CC block , in Kirikiri Maximum Prison, which accommodates condemned prisoners is already over crowded. The block which has 24 rooms and is set to accommodate 4 prisoners per room, now accommodates  more than that. Despite this, many of the the condemned prisoners have to be accommodated in the Solitary confinement block, a walking distance from the CC Block.
We further discovered that the number of condemned prisoners continued to increase because civilians governors in the country in general have refused to sign death warrants that would have led to the execution of most of these condemned prisoners. Since 1999, only Adam Oshiomhole, former Edo  state governor and Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano state, signed death warrants of six condemned prisoners ( four and two respectively), during their tenure .
In Lagos state, only Brigadier General Raji Rasaki (rtd), who was the military governor of the state from 1988-1992, was the last governor to sign death warrants of 54 condemned convicts at once. They were all executed by firing squad in one day.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) were said to have pardoned some of the the condemned convicts by setting them free or commuting their death sentences to life imprisonment.
In August 29, 2009, Mr Fashola, used his power of prerogative of mercy to set three condemned prisoners free and commuting 37 of them to life imprisonment.
What will Governor Akinwunmi Ambode do?  Will he follow the footsteps of his two predecessors or will he sign the death warrants of the condemned prisoners?  Only time will tell.

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