• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Nasarawa governor pardons 14 inmates

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In compliance with section 212 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the rare privilege granted under the prerogative of mercy, Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa State governor, has pardoned 14 inmates in the state.

The freed inmates, who were selected from across the six correctional centres, had over 1, 922 inmates in custody, with over 1,300 of them awaiting trials in the state.

The governor, during his visit to the Lafia Custodial Center, also donated 100 bags of rice and N3 million as palliative to the State Correctional Service.

Governor Sule said that the exercise was carried out after due consultation with the State Advisory Council on the prerogative of mercy, with a view to ensuring due compliance with the law and to avoid negative impacts.

According to Sule, he is always sad when he visits the facility and to see the faces of young and productive people who should be out there contributing to the development of the state.

“I am always sad when I come and see the faces of very productive people, some of you very young who should be out there contributing to the development of our state, especially at a time like this, and contributing to the development of yourselves and your families,” he said.

He urged those getting the pardon to be of good character and to show good examples so that the government would be motivated to free more inmates in the future.

Governor Sule appealed to them to work with the security agencies by sharing vital information that would be positive to the society to curb crimes

He expressed satisfaction with the service for having skills acquisition centres, where inmates learn various skills to enable them live productive life outside.

The governor noted that his administration provided additional security measures at all the correctional facilities in the state, so much as to prevent jailbreak but to protect the facilities from intruders.

He said, his administration will provide necessary facilities at the Awe Correctional Centre, as a way to decongest the centres.

He announced a personal donation of N3 million to the inmates and also presented 100 bags of rice as palliative.

He also agreed to provide a utility vehicle to the Lafia Correctional Centre.

Ibrahim Yunusa Adda, State Controller of Correctional Service, said they are honoured hosting the governor at the facility, and commended him for the love to humanity in general.

Adda added that the 14 inmates are being granted a reprieve because of the governor’s kindness, his love for humanity, and the belief that democracy is not only for those outside the walls of the centres.

“Our records show that since 1998, no administration has granted release and pardon much more than you have done. This is a clear manifestation of the commitment of the governor to decongest the correctional facilities in the state,” he stated.

He appreciated Governor Sule for all the interventions provided by his administration across all the six correctional centres in the state, and requested for a utility vehicle to be used at the Lafia Correctional Centre.

He explained that the correctional centre in Nasarawa State, which also serves the FCT, presently has 1, 922 inmates, out of which over 1, 300 are awaiting trial.

The controller decried the congestion across the six facilities in the state, adding that so far, and in collaboration with the National Open University (NOUN), 158 inmates are pursuing their first degree, with 14 masters students, while several others are preparing to write NECO, WAEC or JAMB.

He explained that the facility also boasts of a skills acquisition centre, where inmates are acquiring skills in tailoring, wielding, shoemaking and carpentry towards making them better citizens.

Also speaking during the event, Aisha Bashir Aliyu, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, said that she has taken steps to decongest the correctional facilities by instructing magistrates not to send those who can easily be bailed to correctional centres.

The Chief Judge added, through the administration of penal justice law, the courts can deploy plea bargaining towards decongesting the correctional facilities.

“It always breaks my heart to see our able young men being incarcerated, knowing that they can give a lot to society. We are keeping them here not as a punishment but as a method of correcting them. We are also sad by the overcrowding of our correctional centres,” she said.

On his part, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Labaran Magaji described the governor’s benevolence in granting pardon to the inmates as not only constitutional but divine.

Ali Mohammed, one of the freed inmates, thanked Governor Sule for his benevolence, assuring that they will turn a new leaf when they get back to the society.