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Man sentenced to death commits suicide in Kuje prison

A 43-year-old businessman, Obinna Echianu, has committed suicide inside the Kuje Correctional Centre (Kuje Prison) in Abuja.

According to SaharaReporters, Echianu was in 2020 sentenced to death for killing a ride hailing driver identified as Edwin Ali in Abuja.

However, his co-defendant, Everly Nnorom was discharged and acquitted.

Echianu was arraigned along with 27-year-old Nnorom, a student, by the police on five counts bordering on armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms, and culpable homicide.

The prosecutor, Donatus Abah had told the court that the businessman, from Abia State and Nnorom, from Imo State on December 25, 2016, conspired to commit the offence of armed robbery and culpable homicide, punishable with death.

He said the duo, while armed with a revolver pistol and 33 live ammunition (bullets), robbed one Inalegwu Edwin Ali of his Nissan Almera car and one mobile phone at Gosa pedestrian bridge, Airport Road, Abuja.

He said after both of them successfully robbed Ali, Echianu intentionally shot him in the head, causing his death.

A source told SaharaReporters during the weekend that the businessman was so dejected about his conviction that he decided to terminate his life inside the prison.

He also blamed his death on the corrupt prison system in Nigeria.

The source said, “He went into the bathroom in his cell and hanged himself. His lifeless body was discovered dangling from a rope around his neck. It is not clear what triggered this last act.

“However, it raises questions about the condition of the prison system in Nigeria. Why could a person on death row have easy access to a means of hanging himself? Also, what is the state of healthcare in the prisons, especially for inmates with mental health issues?

“It is now too late for anyone to know what would have been the outcome of his appeal. Death of the accused ends every criminal trial.”

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