A prison inmate on deathrow in Benin City, capital of Edo State, southsouth Nigeria, ThankGod Ebhos, will any moment from now face execution by firing squad. Already, four other convicts who had been on death row for almost two decades have been executed by hanging in Benin.
The execution which took place Monday in the premises of the Benin City Central Prisons, has elicited condemnation from Amnesty International.
In a statement, the international human rights group called on Nigerian government for restraint in carrying out the execution which it said was confirmed by a court Monday in Benin City.
Sources within the prison confirmed that the fifth condemned criminal will be executed before Friday this week by firing squad.
Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Henry Idahagbon, who confirmed the executions, said the convictions were got many years ago as far as the Supreme Court.
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, the Head, Publicity Desk of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, told P.M.NEWS Tuesday that the inmates executed Monday are: Chima Ejiofor, Daniel Nsofor, Osaren Aigbonkhan and Richard Igagu.
There are eight condemned prisoners in Benin Prisons. One of them is Edo state-born Agbonmware Omorogie, who was convicted since 1994 and who exhausted his right of appeal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Another death row convict is Cyriacus Ogidi from Imo State, convicted for armed robbery by military tribunal since 1997.
There is also ThankGod Ebhos, from Kaduna State convicted for armed robbery by military tribunal since 1988.
Chima Ejifor who was executed yesterday was convicted in August 1998 at the age of 27 and had also exhausted his appeal at the Supreme Court.
Others are: Richard Igagu, arrested in 1994 and convicted on 19-12-1995 by an Edo State High Court; Osarenmwinda Aigbonkhan-arrested on 7 July, 1993 and convicted for armed robbery by military tribunal on 18 January, 1996, Daniel Nsofor-arrested in Edo State in November 1992 and convicted on 19 June, 1996 and Apostle Igene, from Delta State-arrested on 9 May, 1997 and convicted for armed robbery by military tribunal in 1998 at the age of 28 with no right of appeal.
On claims that there was a stay of execution order, Idahagbon said his office got the stay of execution papers but that the execution was not to be carried out by his office.