A non-governmental orgnisation, Lifeline International Rescue Chaplain, has disclosed how it secured the release of a condemned woman after 16 years of her being on death row. The lady was charged for murder and dumped in Kirikiri Prison, where she had been in the past 16 years.
The Lifeline commandant and chaplain-general, Dr. Val Okoye, said that the woman (names withheld) was a victim of circumstance. Narrating how the woman ended up in Kirikiri Prison, he said that her neighbour left her daughter in her custody.
And while the neighbour was still away, the woman dashed to the market to pick up some essentials items. By the time she returned from the market, the young girl left in her custody was found dead.
Daily Sun gathered that the woman could not tell how the young girl left in her care fell into a nearby well and drowned. It was unclear whether someone pushed the girl into the well or if she fell into it. He said, consequently, the woman was arrested and a case of murder was brought against her.
Okoye recalled that the woman’s case came to his organisation’s attention during a voluntary paramilitary visit to Kirikiri Prison.
He said, with prayers, purposeful effort and commitment, his organisation was able to secure the release of the woman who had been waiting to be executed in the last 16 years. She has since reunited with her
family in Imo State. After being granted a pardon in December 2017, she was released on April 4, 2018.
Okoye also recalled how another woman, Loveth Ume, who was abandoned in the hospital by her husband after
childbirth, was also rescued by his organisation.
The woman’s husband was reported to have abandoned her when he was unable to pay the hospital bill following the birth of their child. The organisation was said to have come to the aid of Loveth and her baby. Both mother and child have been discharged and allowed to go home after the organisation paid the hospital bill to the full.
Other humanitarian services of Lifeline International Rescue Chaplain included the recent renovation of a security post and a handball court in Kirikiri Prison, visitation to the female section of the prison during which various items were donated, as well as the inauguration of a fence in Kirikiri Prison.
The Lifeline boss, during the passing-out parade of the organisation’s new officers held in Kirikiri recently, pointed out that the body was in need of more hands. He said that the chaplaincy needed support to make further impact in its humanitarian service to the community. He remarked that more officers were also needed to aid the organisation’s efficiency.
According to him, the officers were given military training to build and equip them with the necessary capacity to carry out their work efficiently.
Okoye added that the organisation regrets that Kirikiri Prison still has more than 94 inmates who were being held for minor offences. He said that his organisation was ready to assist the individuals in line with its vision and commitment to decongesting Nigerian prisons.
Speaking to newsmen on the occasion, Mr. Ernest Odionye, the chairman of the ceremony, said hardly do people visit prisons or identify with the needs of the less-privileged or prison officials or the armed forces.
He praised Lifeline International Rescue Chaplain for taking the responsibility of lift and assisting prison inmates.
“If you have time to visit the prisons, you will pity people, you will pity our country. The job of Lifeline International Rescue Chaplain is a call to service to God and humanity. Let us support them,” he said.
According to the organisation’s national secretary, Major-General Anthony Obijiaku, the chaplaincy is made up of spirited Nigerians. It provides spiritual and physical relief as well as counselling to persons in prisons, men of the armed forces and those in underprivileged homes.
He stated that the organisation also prides itself as giving help in its area of focus and by doing so
contributing to rebuilding many of the country’s broken walls.
The event also featured the launch for an evangelical van and award of excellence to individuals who have been supporting charity and community development projects in the past
Among those who received the organisation’s award of excellence were Mr. Titus Omedeh, Mr. Onyeka Ibeh, CEO Ever Rich Global Impex Ltd, and Mrs. Eucharia Abiakam.