Nigeria’s oldest prisoner, Pa Celestine Egbonuche, 101, who was imprisoned at the Enugu Maximum Prison for over 19 years has finally been released.
Egbonuche, along with his now 87-year-old son, was convicted and sentenced to death for plotting a murder.
The younger Egbonuche is alive and still in prison on death row.
Pa Celestine was released on Thursday to his only surviving daughter, Miss Chisom Celestine through a non-governmental organisation, Global Society for Anti-corruption (GSAC) who had been pushing for his release from the Enugu Prison.
“I am so grateful to God who made this day a reality, who made it possible for my father to come out of prison after spending over 19 years in the prison,” Celestine said. “I thank the NGO whose effort made it possible for my father to be released this day without charging us anything. May God continue to bless them.”
GSAC Regional Director Amaka Nweke says the former Attorney General of Imo State pardoned Egbonuche. She says the release was long overdue.
“His pardon was granted based on his age and his health condition because we found out that his health condition was worsening every day. As a centenarian, he is not supposed to be in prison. When you check other countries you can’t find someone of his age in prison.”
Egbonuche suffers from health problems including diabetes and failing eyesight.
The state government who pardoned Egbunuche has been replaced by a new administration and it is not clear, what, if any assistance they will offer him.