Death penalty: Okorocha moves to grant state pardon to murderer of Nze Duru …Supreme Court Judgement, not up to three months – Family

The family of late Nze Dominic Duru of Amaudara, Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area, has raised alarm over alleged plans of Imo State Government to grant State Pardon to one Chifoani Okorie who has been convicted for murder of their patriarch, Nze Duru.
The family which raised the alarm in a petition signed by Chief Emmanuel Duru and captioned “The recent affirmation of the conviction of Chifoani Okorie for the murder of late Nze Dominic Duru by the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the recommendation to the governor for her pardon by the ministry of happiness and propose fulfilment on the ground that all the judges that handled the matter were members of Olumba Olumba Obua”, made it clear that granting pardon to the convict would amount to unsettling the state by encouraging citizens to resort to self help whenever they are wronged.
Narrating their story the family disclosed that the Okorie whose death sentence was recently affirmed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in company of eight others conspired and gruesomely murdered Nze Duru on March 3. 2005.
Consequently, the police stepped into the matter and after investigations charged nine people including Okorie to court for the killing of the deceased.
The petition added that after a tortuous trial an Owerri High Court presided over by Justice C.M.I. Egole convicted her and seven other accused for the murder, a decision which she appealed at the Appeal Court and also lost. A few months ago the Supreme Court finally put paid to her fate by upholding the verdict of the appellate court, which condemned her to death.
But, sadly according to the petition having lost in the court of law, Mrs Okorie and her accomplices are now trying to leverage on their political connection to subvert justice.
According to Chief Duru desperate plans to set her free through the “Prerogative of Mercy” as enshrined in section 212 of the Constitution and also planned to be exercised by the state governor, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, has reached an advance stage.
According to him the plan started with alleged involvement of the governor’s sister, Mrs Geraldine Obinali who in turn allegedly influenced the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment to write to Gov Okorocha to exercise Prerogative of Mercy on the convict on the ground that all the judges that handled the matter were members of Olumba Olumba Olumba, OOO.
This claim the petitioner noted is false as none of the judges from the trial by the five man Supreme Court Panel is a member of the said Church.
Against this backdrop therefore, he urged Gov Okorocha not to succumb to the bait to grant such pardon because doing that portends grave danger for society as well as the rule of law and justice.
He stated that the political abuse of such powers as the governor is being goaded to do would compel citizens to resort to self help instead of approaching the law courts to seek remedy when aggrieved.
The petitioner stressed that this would be the option open to citizens as they would no longer want to go the whole length to seek and get justice only for the governor to release the convict, the next day.
Besides, he pointed out that such may constitutes a danger to the lives of those who acted as witnesses in such serious matter even as it would discourage those who may wish to be agents for justice in the future.
While noting that the governor has the constitutional power to grant such pardon, Chief Duru added that such should only be exercised in public interest especially when a new evidence that was not available during trial shows that the convicted may not have been guilty of the offence as charged, before he/she was convicted.

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