Latest reports have it that President Muhammad Buhari has granted a presidential pardon to about 2,600 inmates nationwide.
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Seventy of the inmates, it was gathered, will be released on Thursday from Kuje maximum custodial centre.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this at a world news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
The move is part of the Federal Government’s 2020 Presidential Pardon and Clemency to Inmates and ex-convicts with the view to decongesting the correctional centres across the country.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami activated the process at the Kuje Correctional Centre after the disclosure from Aregbesola.
Malami, also said that his office would continue to fine-tune the roadmap for the implementation of a comprehensive action plan on ensuring an enduring correctional service reform.
Out of the 176 persons interviewed, Presidential Pardon has been granted to 2 inmates.
President granted clemency to 39 inmates as recommended by the PACPM out of which 4 inmates are from Kuje Correctional Centre. In addition, the president has also graciously granted pardon to 5 ex-convicts.
My office will take necessary steps to publish the names of these beneficiaries in the Federal Gazette in line with extant laws and Regulations.
Malami further explained that the steps were part of the urgent measures taken by the federal government towards the speedy decongestion of correctional/custodial centres in the country in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AGF described the measures as President Buhari’s demonstration of commitment to sincerely decongest the country’s overcrowded correctional centres.
He explained that the process of coming up with the list of beneficiaries commenced in 2018, with the inauguration of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, PACPM, on August 28, 2018.
Strictly hinged on Section 175 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
In carrying out the assignment, the committee adopted the use of interviews, observations, consultation and relevant documents called for and received from each of the correctional centres across the country.
He explained that the committee visited a number of correctional centres in the six geo-political zones of the country to interact and identify those eligible for the presidential pardon and clemency.