Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A 41-year-old inmate at the Onitsha Prison, Dele Mokwunye, a native of Idumuje-Unor in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State has appealed to his state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to grant him pardon.
Mokwunye who was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Anthony Akpovi of the state High Court, Ogwashi-Uku 2006, said he now regrets his actions, and that the homicide was a mistake and a temptation.
In 2002, Mokwunye brutally murdered his childless aunty who was his guardian at the time. He butchered the aunt with a cutlass on suspicion that she was using witchcraft powers to hinder his progress.
His biological father, who has since passed on, was one of the prosecuting witnesses fielded by the state that gave evidence against him.
His death sentence had earlier been commuted by the former governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2010.
He begged the Chairman of the Delta state Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy, Patrick Okpakpor who led other members of to the Onitsha Prison as part of their statutory duties for total pardon.
Okpakpor told convicts transferred to the Onitsha and Awka prisons from Delta State where members of the Council visited that the Council lacks the power to order release of inmates from custody.
He further explained that such power to order the release of inmates from prison custody only resides with the governor as enshrined in section 212 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
Okpakpor also explained that the quarterly prison visitation exercise of the was not only restricted to prisons within Delta State but to such other prisons across the federation where indigenes and none indigenes alike, convicted by Delta State High Courts are serving their terms of imprisonment.
He pleaded with authorities of the Awka Prisons to consider the transfer of the three inmates of Delta State origin to Onitsha Prison or back to Warri Prison to enable them have access to their family
Other members of the council who were part of the exercise include the Secretary, Mrs. Uju Monye, Kress Njukwuomeni, Irene Imilar, Dr. Samuel Efetobor, Barr. John Okiroko and CSP. Paulina Egbon.