One of the controversial pastors in Nigeria during his reign is Chukwuemeka Ezeugo aka Rev. King, a Christian preacher and founder of Christian Praying Assembly.
Rev. King hails from Anambra State, South-east Nigeria. He got nationwide recognition following the killing of a church member, Ann Uzoh.
He was born in Umulekwe village in the Achina community of the Aguata local government area, Anambra State, Nigeria and obtained a degree in Psychology at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
He was the general overseer of Christian Praying Assembly until September 2006 when the Lagos high court found him guilty on 6 charges of murder and attempted murder.
The prosecutor had said that the convict poured petrol on the deceased and five other persons and that Uzoh died on August 2, 2006; 11 days after the act was perpetrated on her.
Charges against him
Rev. King was arrested and charged to court primarily due to the murder of Ann Uzo, one of his members, of which he pled ‘not guilty’, as she was said to have died as a result of Ezeugo setting her on fire.
Offence of the victim
Rev. King, according to eyewitnesses, set Ann Uzoh on fire because he caught the victim in the act of fornication.
In whole, a total of 10 witnesses came forward, testifying that Reverend King was the perpetrator. The lawyer defending Reverend King debunked the statements of the 10 witnesses, pointing out the discrepancies in their statements, which however was true, the witnesses made some contradicting statements to their earlier statements.
These errors were however too little to prove anything substantial as the presiding judge, and the capital punishment was passed on the man of God.
First judge Rev. King will never forgive
Justice Joseph Oyewole is the number one fearless judge Rev. King will never forgive. Justice Oyewole is known for his fearless judgement.
The judge was at the Lagos High Court Ikeja at the time, on 11 January 2007 found him guilty of the murder of Ann Uzoh and sentenced him to death by hanging, plus 20 years for attempted murder.
Illicit sex with members
During his trial in the Lagos High Court Ikeja, a witness, Edwin Akubue, who was later identified as a key and notable member of Reverend King’s Ministry, testified that Ezeugo was romantically involved with his wife prior to the events of the trial.
Violence against parishioners
“I am a preacher. I know that the spirit of witchcraft is against the Almighty God. If somebody is a liar, he is bewitching God. I don’t condone lie”
Rev. King does not condone sin. I flog a lot. I have canes. If husband and wife mess up by having a misunderstanding, I have to settle them. But the person that is at fault, I must flog. If the person refuses to be flogged, I will send him out of the church,” Reverend King was quoted as saying while aggreeing molesting church members
During the trial, a female student named Miss Chibuzor was brought in to testify, by the then director of public persecutions named Mrs Bola Okikiolu-Ighile.
Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo was very disappointed with the verdict of the Lagos State High Court and challenged it right there, as he uttered words that portrayed his disappointment.
The case was pushed to the Lagos State Court Of Appeal as Reverend wasn’t so pleased with the verdict issued, however the case was thrown out by the Lagos State Court Of Appeal which even enforced the earlier verdict, a once again disappointed Reverend King and his lawyer took the case to the highest court in Nigeria, the Supreme Court.
Second judge Rev. King will never forgive
On February 2, 2013, the court of appeal ruled over the suit brought before it challenging the death sentence passed on Rev. King. But it was another unfortunate day for the controversial pastor.
Justice Fatimo Akinbami affirmed the earlier judgement of the High Court.
’’Each of the prosecution witness gave evidence as to how the victim was beaten and burnt by the appellant. To my mind, there is no contradiction whatsoever and even if there were, it is immaterial, since all the witnesses are unanimous.
“I hereby rule that the prosecution effectively discharged the burden of proof on it. This appeal is devoid of any basis and accordingly fails,” Justice Akinbami ruled.
The last ruling that sealed the execution of Rev. King
The Supreme Court of Nigeria on 26 February 2017, unanimously agreed to follow the original verdict in 2006, which read, that he should be put to death by hanging.
Interestingly or unfortunately, whichever you prefer, the troubled former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Walter Onnoghen led a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court who reviewed and upheld the death sentence of Chukwuemeka Ezeugo (aka Rev. King) of the Christian Praying Assembly.
Timeline of Rev. King:
- Offence: For killing Ann Uzoh, one of his church members
- He was arraigned on September 26, 2006 for murder among other charges.
- Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on January 11, 2007 sentenced him to death
- On February 2, 2013, Vanguard reported that Lagos State Court of Appeal upheld the previous verdict on him
- On February 26, 2017, Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that Rev. King must die for killing his church member.
Since then, Rev. King has been in jail awaiting the execution of the death sentence passed on him.
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