A non-governmental organisation, Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC), has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to grant pardon to 100-year-old prisoner, Celestine Egbunuche.
Franklin Ezeona, GSAC’s President, made the appeal in a letter dated September 11, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday.
The letter is entitled, “Continued Incarceration of Pa Celestine Egbunuche, oldest inmate in Nigeria – A Passionate Appeal for Your Excellencies to Pardon him’’.
Mr Ezeona said that Mr Egbunuche, who hails from Akokwa in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo, was sentenced to death for murder by the Imo High Court.
He said the centenarian, who turned 100 on August 4, had been in solitary confinement at the Enugu Maximum Prison for the past 17 years.
According to him, Mr Egbunuche’s surviving son and another 87-year-old relation are also in prison for the same offence.
“Our last inquiry indicated that the health condition of the centenarian who has been suffering from diabetes for years, nose-dived shortly after his birthday; and to worsen the case, he may soon lose his sight.
“He is currently incapacitated and passes faeces and urine at will on his clothes.
“In fact, the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emehelu, during this year’s jail delivery, had promised to look into the case of Pa Egbunuche, whom our investigation, showed might be Africa’s oldest inmate.’’
He urged the federal and Imo governments to grant state pardon to Mr Egbunuche, whom he claimed, had become `a vegetable’ in prison as posed no form of threat to the society. appeal to your Excellencies to use the board of prerogative of mercy and release him to go and possibly die peacefully at home.
“In addition, we ask that the old man, if eventually released, be fully rehabilitated by the Federal Government.”
Mr Ezeona commended Mr Buhari for his determination to combat corruption in the country.
“We thank you once again for your unwavering commitment and passion to bring honour back to our dear country through the bold steps so far taken by your administration in fixing Nigeria,’’ he said.
GSAC is a strong supporter of the present administration’s fight against corruption and it is involved in rendering other humanitarian services.
The NGO says it has overtime recorded milestones in the areas of public education against electronic fraud and assisting fraud victims in securing justice and recovering their wealth.