During the time of General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s military wartime leader, the law in place for convicted armed robbers was nothing but death by firing squad.
In April 1972, a young man named Stanley Enekwe was convicted of armed robbery and he was to be shot to death. The place was Ajali, near Awka in the East-Central State (presently in Anambra State). Enekwe’s public execution was scheduled but something really spectacular happened.
In those days, families and relatives usually avoided the scene of public execution because they the accused had brought overwhelming shame to their name and disgraced the family. However, that was not the case with Stanley Enweke’s father. He was not only at the execution ground, but he was there with his son to the very last. Enweke’s father murmured these words to him: “Fear not, the Lord is waiting to receive you.” Many villagers trooped out to proclaim his innocence on the day of his execution.
Enekwe was said to be an ex-soldier of the Biafran Army and came back to Ajali after the Nigerian Civil War with one of the official vehicles which he was accused of stealing. The case against him started immediately after the war and dragged on to the day that he was killed.
Most people avoided him as they were also afraid of being victimized, so his father stood by him and boldly came to the execution to show that he believed him.