Old reporter’s diary: How ThankGod Ebos escaped execution

Old reporter’s diary: How ThankGod Ebos escaped execution

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 2:18 pm


 

ThankGod Ebhos

By Richard Akinnola 

Sometime in June 2013, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state signed the execution warrant of some convicts on death row at Oko prison, Benin. Five of them were to be hanged. 

Four of the convicts were hanged. Then came the turn of THANKGOD Ebhos, who had by then been on the death row for 17 years for armed robbery. 

He got to the gallows and as it was the usual procedure, the offence was read to him before execution.

Just at that point, the Sheriff discovered that the execution warrant indicated that the convict was to be executed by firing squad, having been convicted by the Armed Robbery and Firearms Tribunal in a military government, unlike normal courts where execution is by hanging.

The Sheriff asked the convict to step down from the gallows. An argument ensued among the officials. He told his colleagues that if they went ahead to execute him by hanging, that would be illegal, as the execution warrant stated that he had to die by the firing squad and not by hanging. 

Providence intervened. The convict was asked to go back to his cell. Execution called off. Advocacy for his release by the Amnesty International and other human rights NGOs eventually led to his release two years after, 19 years after his incarceration. 

Just as his name, he has everything for which to thank God.

Day an executed robber regained consciousness…

Execution by firing squad scene

I once attended the public execution of some armed robbers at the Kirikiri shooting range in Lagos during the military times. After the execution  and the doctor had certified them dead, and the executioners left, the health officials were trying to put them into some make shift coffins, in preparation for burial. Then, one of the robbers made a faint grunt. 

He was still alive. He asked for water. The health officials were in a fix. The soldiers had left, leaving the policemen that came to control the crowd.  The health workers then pleaded with the policemen to “finish the job” by shooting the half-dead robber. They refused, stating that their duty was to provide security at the execution ground and not to execute the robbers. The health workers had no alternative than to put the robber in the coffin like that while still alive. Quite surreal. Person don see  something o.

You may be shocked after reading my piece about the half-dead executed armed robber . You are in for more shocker about an investigation l did at Kirikiri prison 1996 – swapping of prisoners. The innocent would be swapped with the criminal -with just N150,000.  While the criminal gets out on bail, the innocent faces firing squad. It was published in Sunday Concord edition of June 2, 1996. Shortly after the publication, l received a death threat letter from the syndicate. Full story later.

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