The family of Mr Edmund Ebiware, currently serving life imprisonment over complicity in the Oct. 1, 2010 bomb blast in Abuja, has appealed to Federal Government to pardon him.
The family made the plea at a rally organised by “Concerned Nigerians for Free Edmund Ebiware’’ on Thursday in Abuja.
Ebiware was convicted in January, 2013 by the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the charge of treasonable felony.
He was sentenced for concealing information on the planned bombing suspected to have been carried out by Mr Charles Okah.
The judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, had held that the convict would, upon good conduct, enjoy a parole subject to the approval of the president after serving 32 years in jail.
But, his wife, Ify Ebiware, who claimed that the man was innocent of the case, urged the Federal Government to pardon and free him, saying that life had not been easy for the family.
“My husband has been in the prison for almost seven years for the offence he did not commit even when the suspected mastermind of the bomb blast has not been sentenced,’’ she said.
Also, his children, 14-year-old daughter, Alicia and nine-year-old son, Denzel, pleaded that their father be freed and be reunited with them.
“Life has been very difficult growing up without our dad,’’ Alisa said.
Convener of Concerned Nigeria for Free Edmund Ebiware, Mr Miebi Bribena, said that though it was unfortunate that 12 persons were killed during the incident, Ebiware had maintained that he was innocent of the offence.
Bribena urged President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy, to pardon Ebiware.
He urged the committee to recommend to the president, “leniency and unconditional pardon to our friend and brother, Ebiware, because he was sentenced to life for nothing.
“His name has been soiled and that can only be cleaned by that prerogative of the president,’’ he said
Bribena said that while Ebiware was already serving jail term, the treason case against the suspected mastermind of the bomb blast, Okah, had been thrown out by the court.
“On June 2, 2017, the same Justice Kolawole threw out the case of treason against Okah and declared that treason did not take place because former President Jonathan’s life was not threatened.
“This means that Okah will only stand trial on the count of terrorism which coincidentally starts today (Thursday).
“Now, Ebiware is an accessory to what? If the same judge has said treason did not take place, what was he accessory to?
“Secondly, how could you even have sentenced an accessory while it has not been established that the alleged mastermind of that treason was guilty of it? What was Ebiware sentence for?
“This is barely an error, a miscarriage of justice and we are saying that it should be declared null and avoid,’’ Bribena said.
Bribena added the convict’s lawyers had made a case for review of the judgment following the court’s decision on Okah’s case