Buhari pardons Late Enahoro, Ambrose Alli, 2,600 prisoners

By AdvocateNews on 10/04/2020

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President Muhammadu Buhari has granted Presidential pardon to the former Governor of old Bendel State, late Prof Ambrose Alli and a foremost nationalist, late Chief Anthony Enahoro.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this at the Headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said three other persons also benefitted from the presidential amnesty.

They are ex-Lt Colonel Moses Effiong, Major E Olarenwaju and Ajayi Olusola Babalola.

He added that the gesture meant that they were never convicted.

Aregbesola also said a total of 2,600 inmates in various correctional centres were set free by the President in exercise of his Pardon, Clemency and Prerogative of Mercy as enshrined in the constitution.

Aregbesola, who was flanked at the conference by the Ministers of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the gesture was based on compassion, which is one of the hallmarks of the current administration.

He added that 70 inmates of the Kuje Custodian Centre, Abuja, would also be released immediately after the briefing as all the process of their documentations would be carried out to signify the flag off of the release of other inmates in other correction Centres in the Federation.

The Minister, who said the move was part of efforts by the Buhari administration to decongest the centres, urged Governors to follow suit by ensuring that those under their domains were pardoned .

Aregbesola said the Presidential pardon followed recommendations by a Presidential Committee and the imperative of drastically reducing the number of inmates in custodian centres across the country due to the outbreak of COVID 19.

He said out of the pardoned inmates, Lagos has 316, Kano 287, Ogun 289, Nasarawa 105, Kaduna 104, Edo 176 nd Adamawa state 216. Others are Delta 140, Anambra 84, Akwa Ibom 76, Bauchi 50, Borno 21 and Enugu 32,among others.

The Minister, who explained the various criteria upon which the inmates were set free, however said those who committed violent crimes against the state such as terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and rape among others did not enjoy any amnesty.

Aregbesola said: ” Using these criteria, a total number of 2,600 inmates spread across our various custodial centres qualify to benefit from the amnesty. These include 885 convicts who could not pay their fines totalling N21.4 million which the government will pay on their behalf to enable them get their freedom.

“From this number, 41 inmates are federal convicts, two of which have been granted pardon. At this point, I am pleased to inform you that five ex-convicts recommended for presidential pardon have been so pardoned.

“They are late Prof Ambrose Ali, Late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Ex Lt. Col. Moses Effiong, Major E.J. Olanrewaju and Ajayi Olusola Babalola. Prof Ali was the governor of the old Bendel State in the Second Republic (1978-1983) and a great progressive while Chief Enahoro was a foremost nationalist who moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence.

” I must thank and commend President Buhari for demonstrating great statesmanship by pardoning these people who were part of the great Nigerian history. We will proceed from here to Kuje custodial centre to release the 41 in a symbolic gesture of the freedom that have been given to 2,600 inmates across the federation. The governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction the inmates were incarcerated will complete the exercise in line with our federal principle.”

Malami (SAN) said the process of the pardon started in 2018 but the COVID-19 outbreak added an impetus as the correctional Centres had to quickly decongested to avoid any form of problems therein.

Malami, who said the President was passionate about setting the inmates free, explained that the Committee deployed use of interviews, observations, consultations to carry out its assignment on those eligible for the Presidential amnesty.

Posted 10/04/2020 07:34:09 AM


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