Death Row Inmate Commits Suicide in Abuja

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A death row inmate, Obinna Echianu, has committed suicide inside the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja. Echianu, who was convicted for the murder of an Uber driver, Inalegwu Ali in Abuja, last year, was said to have hanged himself with his clothes in the prison toilet last Saturday.

His body was found early in the morning by other inmates who wanted to use the toilet. The body was subsequently removed and taken to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital mortuary while an investigation was launched into the incident.

“The inmate hanged himself with his clothes while the other inmates were sleeping on Friday night. They woke up Saturday morning to find his body dangling in the toilet. Investigations are ongoing but there is no sign or suspicion of foul play or culpable homicide but investigations are on. His case was on appeal and nobody knew what the outcome would have been,” a source said.

Echianu was arraigned alongside one Everly Nnorom, a student, by the police on five-count of armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms, and culpable homicide.

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

It was gathered that the two men were said to have dispossessed Ali of his Nissan Almera car and one mobile phone at Gosa pedestrian bridge, Airport Road, Abuja, and also killed him after the robbery.

Echianu was sentenced to death but his lawyer was said to have appealed the conviction.

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The spokesman, Nigeria Correctional Service, Federal Capital Territory Command, Humphrey Chukwuedo, confirmed the incident yesterday, saying an investigation had been launched.

“The body has been taken to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital for an autopsy to determine the cause of death,” he said.

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