Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has been convinced to sign the death warrant of founder of Christian Praying Assembly (CPA), Rev. Chukwuemeka King, Ripples can authoritatively report.
King was sentenced to death by a Lagos High Court in Ikeja on January 11, 2007 for murder and attempted murder of some of his church members in 2006.
The sentence was affirmed last Friday by the Supreme Court in a judgment read by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta.
The apex court dismissed the appeal of the bearded controversial preacher, saying it was lacking in merit.
Ambode has the prerogative of signing the death warrant or holding it for as long as he wants as a governor.
A cabinet member in Lagos said the governor has been convinced by his close aides and the legal team to sign the death warrant. This, he said, is because of the defiant attitude and activities of the condemned cleric.
The top aide, who requested anonymity, said: “We have had a debate on the issue as soon as the judgment was passed. A few were of the opinion that the governor should withhold his signature.
“But many of us argued that King has been not remorseful. Even after he was condemned, his members carried on as if he was god.
“They even threatened government and persisted in their violent conducts. Recall that they always attended court sessions in unruly manners.”
The top Lagos official went on: ‘While he was in detention, he was still finding way to sleep with women along with many despicable acts.
“Truth is this guy cannot change. He has crossed the boundaries of reasoning and morality.
He should just go to serve as a deterrent to others.”
It was gathered that the governor was also counseled by the legal team to sign the warrant so that the full course of justice will be served.
“If he withholds the warrant, it might create a friction with the judiciary. They already found him guilty. The governor has to trust their judgment and do the needful,” the aide said this was pointed out to Ambode.
Besides, it was learnt that the governor was told there were still several of King’s likes in the clerical sector, using their exalted positions to perpetrate crimes against humanity.
“Once King goes, they will sit up. For now, they think they are untouchable and under the illusion that some powerful forces were shielding them from prosecution.
“Government must start clamping down on them one after the other to sanitise the sector and deliver hapless citizens. This King’s case offers a good opportunity to pass on that impression,” the cabinet member explained.
Also, the cabinet meeting was said to have taken cognizance of the fact that the public mood is against King at the moment.
“Many people want him dead. They just want justice served and these charlatans put in their place for once. They have used the name of God in vain for too long,” he added.
Based on the arguments, Ambode, it was gathered, has been convinced and will append his signature to the warrant, which is being prepared by the legal team.
Though the aide gave no clue as to when the governor might put his signature to the paper, he confirmed that the condemnation of King was “a fait accompli.”
Pressed further, he said: ‘It’s a decided case just awaiting the final fix. The governor cannot overrule the Supreme Court. We are talking about a condemned criminal here.
“This is someone who doesn’t deserve to be in human’s clothing. The governor has made up his mind to do the needful.”