THERE has been palpable tension in Umoru, Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, over insinuations that the government plans to pardon a convicted murderer, Akinyele Okiki.
An Owo High Court, presided by Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, had in 2007 found Okiki guilty of killing Olugboyega Ojo on July 30, 2004 and ordered that he be hanged until pronounced dead.
The convict had since been on the death row, while the appeal against the judgement is pending in the appellate court.
The family of the deceased, however, raised the alarm yesterday that some people in government were planning to give official pardon to the convict.
Specifically, the Olugboyega family said some people had concluded plan to release the convict on October 1 as part of activities marking the country’s independence anniversary.
The danger of the government’s planned action, the family said, is that it could lead to intra-community crisis, which may disrupt the peace in the community and the state.
They appealed to the government to exercise restraint in granting prerogative of mercy to the convict in order not to cause mayhem in the area.
The family said the events leading to the death of Ojo was still fresh in mind, warning that any attempt to release Okiki would make the Olugboyega family seek revenge.
In a letter to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, the family said “the judgement made it clear that Okiki premeditated and brazenly killed Ojo in a most callous expression of inhuman savagery.
“It is, therefore, naturally expected that his loss is a huge vacuum our family has not been adequately able to fill. Ojo was only 19 years old when he was brutally murdered.”