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Osun, Kano, and Sokoto state Governors have released prisoners amounting to a total number of 130 in other to curb the spread of the Covid19.
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has freed 34 inmates in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ismail Omipidan, noted that the amnesty was in line with the decision of the Federal Government to decongest custodial centres in the country, as part of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of 2,600 prisoners in the country.
He said: “Seventeen of the 34 inmates were granted amnesty by Governor Oyetola, while the others were pardoned by the Federal Government.
“The inmates were considered for amnesty on grounds of old age, ill-health, a sentence of three years and above with less than six months left to serve, fine of less than N50,000 and inmates who have spent 75 per cent of their remaining sentences after remission and a fine of less than N50, 000 with the inability to pay among others.
“You will recall that the Federal Government had directed that all custodial centres be decongested to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.
“To decongest correctional facilities, Governor Oyetola has graciously approved the request of the Controller-General of the Correctional Service and granted amnesty to 17 state offenders.
The Federal Government also granted amnesty to 17 inmates, bringing the number to 34 prisoners who are affected at two custodial centres in Osun.
“But those who were convicted of violent offences such as murder, armed robbery, terrorism, kidnapping and rape did not benefit from the amnesty, ” Omipidan added.
Kano State Government has set free 50 inmates detained at two major correctional facilities as part of efforts to stem the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
A team of Shariah Court judges led by an Upper Shariah Court Judge, Ustaz Ibrahim Sarki Yola, ordered the immediate release of the inmates from Kurmawa and Goron Dutse correctional facilities.
Yola told reporters that the release of the inmates was in compliance with the directives issued by the Grand Khadi, saying the action was to ensure decongestion of the correctional facilities at a time when the state is battling against COVID-19.
Yola said those pardoned are persons who committed offences that are pardonable.
Confirming the release of the inmates, the spokesman, Nigeria Correctional Services in Kano, Musbau Kofar Nassarawa, said 50 inmates have regained freedom.
According to him, the exercise that led to the release of the detainees is in consonance with a Federal Government directive, which enjoined state governments to initiate the process that would help to deflate the number of inmates currently held at correctional centres across the country.
Musbau cautioned the released persons to be of good behaviour, urging them to integrate themselves into the society.
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has set free 29 deserving inmates from the Sokoto Central Correctional Service prison after granting them state pardon.
Hitherto, two civil servants dismissed from the state’s service also had their penalties converted to retirement.
They are: Bawa Sahabi Tambuwal and Murtala Mani Salihu.
The release of the inmates, who got their freedom through the state committee on prerogative of mercy, was contained in a release on Saturday night by Muhammad Bello, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor.
The release said Mr. Suleiman Usman, SAN, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General in the state, made the announcement.
Making the announcement on behalf of Tambuwal on the correctional service premises, Suleiman said: “The pardon takes cognisance of the executive powers vested in the governor to offer mercy to inmates by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
According to him, the gesture aimed at enabling the ex-prisoners to reunite with their family members and become decent citizens was also intended to decongest the prison and protect the inmates from being affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The commissioner called on the freed prisoners to shun vices and engage in viable ventures that would uplift their living standards.
He said: “The exercise is carried out on a routine basis to deserving inmates in order to offer mercy to them”, while presenting N50,000 cash assistance to each of the pardoned inmates from the state government.
Suleiman said the cash is to enable them set up useful ventures as they start new life out of prison.
Speaking on behalf of the state controller of correctional service, the Deputy Controller in charge of the Prison, Mallam Idris Muhammad, thanked the state government for its continued support and encouragement to the prison.