Prerogative of mercy: Gov Mohammed pardons 96 inmates

By Samuel Luka, Bauchi

Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed has on Friday, under the prerogative of mercy enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, 1999 as amended, granted pardon to 96 inmates drawn from different correctional facilities across the state.

The Governor who also settled their fines, transportation fares and rehabilitation grants amounting to N20 million, enjoined them to go and sin no more.

The Governor who made this known while speaking during the event at the government house, explained that various fines imposed on them by the Courts totalling N7 million was paid by the state government and N13 million was made available for their transportation and rehabilitation.

He said that the decision to grant the pardon and amnesty to the convicts followed the report of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy that the affected persons have turned a new leaf of life.

He added that only those with minor offences and could not afford to pay the fines imposed on them at conviction were selected for the amnesty programme of his administration.

Bala Mohammed disclosed that he refused to grant amnesty to those serving long terms from capital offences in order not encourage commitance of such offences.

He announced that each of the pardoned inmates will get the sum of N100,000 to start a new business with which to sustain themselves and become good citizens.

Governor Mohammed charged them not to see themselves as prisoners but be free to reintegrate into the society and be of good behavior henceforth.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy who is the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hassan U. EI-Yakub, SAN said that the Governor did it in the exercise of the powers of granting pardon or mercy to deserving convicts which is conferred upon him by Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

“The event is therefore significant in so many ways. First and foremost, it is a fulfillment of His Excellency’s constitutional responsibility as a responsible leader but most importantly, it is a clear testimony to the unwavering compassion, empathy, love and concern for the well-being of his people”, the commissioner said.

He disclosed that the Advisory Council received a total of 106 applications from convicts seeking for mercy, pardon or clemency from the Governor.

He said that Council also visited the Bauchi State Correctional Service and all the Custodial Centers across the State located in Bauchi, Alkaleri, Azare, Bogoro, Burra, Darazo, Ningi, Zaki, Gamawa, Misau, Shira, Toro, Tafawa Balewa and Jama’are.

The justice commissioner said after meticulous scrutiny and a sober consideration of the applications, the Council carefully selected 96 deserving inmates and recommended them to the Governor for approval.

He gave the breakdown of the inmates by location as follows: 17 inmates from Bauchi Correctional Centre, 7 inmates from Alkaleri Correctional Centre, 10 inmates from Azare Correctional Centre, 6 inmates from Bogoro Correctional Centre, 8 inmates from Ningi Correctional Centre, 8 inmates from Burra Correctional Centre, 3 inmates from Misau Correctional Centre, 7 inmates from Darazo Correctional Centre, 3 inmates from Jama’are Correctional Centre, 9 inmates from Tafawa Balewa Correctional Centre, 5 inmates from Toro Correctional Centre, 4 inmates from Gamawa Correctional Centre, 2 inmates from Shira Correctional Centre and 7 inmates from Zaki Correctional Centre.

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