Calls to pardon 100-year-old inmate
ABUJA – Death row inmate Celestine Egbunuche has been dubbed Nigeria’s “oldest prisoner” amid a campaign calling for his release.
He is 100 years old and has spent 18 years in jail after being found guilty of organising a murder.
Small and slightly hunched over, he looks wistfully into space as he sits on a tightly packed bench inside a stuffy prison visitor’s room.
Dressed in a white T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, he lifts his head slowly – his way of acknowledging our presence.
But otherwise he remains quiet during our visit, in stark contrast to the rest of the room that is filled with loud chatter at Enugu Maximum Security Prison in south-east Nigeria.
His son Paul Egbunuche, 41, sits protectively close to him – and does the talking. He is in jail on the same murder charge.
They were both accused of hiring people to kidnap and kill a man over an alleged land dispute in Imo state.
Paul (left) and Celestine Egbunuche have been in jail for 18 years and on death row for four years.