Nigeria’s oldest prisoner, Pa Celestine Egbunuche, clocked 100 last Saturday, August 4, within the confines of Enugu Maximum Prison.
The centenarian, who hails from Akokwa in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, was condemned to death along with his son, Paul and another relation, now 87, The Status Newspaper reports.
They were said to have been engaged in a fight over a piece of land and in the process, somebody died. With such fate, Pa Egbunuche has for over 17 years lived in desolation and hopelessness.
But all hope is not lost as a non-governmental organisation, Global Society for Anti-corruption (GSAC) is pushing for his release. GSAC has appealed to the Federal Government and Governor Rochas Okorocha to use their board of mercy and release Egbunuche, his 78 years old relation and son from prison.
Zonal Resource Executive of GSAC, Amaka Nweke, commended Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emehelu, for her recent prison visit where many inmates were granted freedom pleaded with her to look into the case of Pa Egbunuche whom she said their investigation showed might be Africa’s oldest inmate.
According to the NGO, Egbunuche has suffered from diabetes over the years, adding that with his age and failing health, it will be proper to release him to go and possibly die peacefully at home. If eventually released, the organisation would also want the Federal and State Governments to take care of Pa Egbunuche’s rehabilitation.
Experts said that in other jurisdictions, inmates above 65 years are eligible for either parole or state pardon.