Nigeria Court Of Appeal Affirms Death Penalty For Lagos Preacher Reverend King
An appeal court in Lagos has affirmed the death penalty for Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, the notorious Lagos preacher popularly known as “Rev. King”.
A panel of judges at the court today said the lower court acted in the interest of justice by sentencing the preacher to death.
King, who was sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of a female member of his church, has appealed against the conviction and is awaiting judgement. But while he remains in prison, his devotees and some influential members of his church have been working hard to ensure that his death sentence was reversed.
One of the adherents reportedly said: 'The man is just too influential among his adherents. We see different people, both high and low class, visit him for prayers.'
According to the source, when the prison authorities became uncomfortable with how his devotees visit him for prayers, causing tension in the prison, they decided to move him far north to an unknown prison where nobody can see him.
Rev. King was sentenced to death by hanging in 2007 by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Ikeja High Court on a 5-count charge of murder.
The bearded General Overseer of Christian Praying Assembly (CPA) at Canal View Street, Ajao Estate was convicted for setting fire on seven members of his church whom he accused of fornication.
One of them, Ann King, died as a result of injuries sustained in the fire.
During the trial, witnesses, who were mostly his church members, narrated how Reverend King turned them to sex toys. The principal witness in the matter, Kelechi King, in her gory account told the court how she had aborted four pregnancies for the self-acclaimed 'god'.
She also revealed how Reverend King made her denounce her family and how she served him as his maid, attending to him naked.
On the incident that led to the death of Ann, almost all the prosecution witnesses corroborated the fact that Rev. King actually set them on fire by pouring fuel on them.
They also told the court that on the said date, Rev. King gathered them together in his house following allegations that they were committing fornication in his house, an allegation they all denied.
Another prosecution witness, Olisa Chiejina, told the court then how the accused operated a 'Lord Army', an outfit he said Rev. King uses to intimidate and harass members of his church.
After his conviction, Reverend King was taken to the Kirikiri Prisons where he was put on death row. His lawyers, however, immediately filed an appeal to forestall his execution. While awaiting his appeal, he was accused of having sexual intercourse with female guests even in prison.