The Council of State, an organ responsible for advising the executive arm of government on major policy decisions has recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari grants pardon to 159 inmates convicted and currently serving various jail terms for various offences.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN revealed this in Abuja after Thursday’s meeting of the Council of State, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the recommendation came after the council received the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.
According to the Minister, “In the exercise of the powers on the granting of pardon, precisely on the 28th day of August 2018, the President put in place a committee known as the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, which was saddled with the responsibility of visiting the country’s correctional facilities and making recommendations to the President on the exercise of his power of mercy and compassion, by way of either granting pardon to those that have been convicted, clemency, or some other form of concessions by way of reduction in sentence and term.
“It was in exercise such duties and responsibility in line with the terms of the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy that we presented the report to the President and the requirement of the law on the exercise of that mercy and pardon, should seek the advice of the Council of State.
“In line with that, a memo was presented by the president this afternoon to the council through which the report of the Committee was presented to council for its advice. The Committee made a submission of 162 people presented to the President for such consideration.
“26 of the inmates are recommended for presidential pardon, 85 of surviving ex-convicts, were recommended for presidential pardon, one deceased person was recommended for post humours presidential pardon, 27 inmates were recommended for presidential clemency, 13 inmates were recommended for a review of their sentences or prison terms, 10 inmates were presented for a reduced sentence from death to life imprisonment. In total, 162 convicts were presented for the President’s consideration for pardon and mercy.”
Malami, SAN said the Council of State endorsed 159 out of the 162 convicts and advised the President to grant them pardon and mercy but rejected three of the recommended convicts.
“The Council rejected a proposal to grant pardon to one of the prisoners sentenced to 120 years for stealing over N25 billion. The reason for seeking pardon was because of a life threatening illness.
“The second person was convicted for forgery, sentenced for 14 years and has stayed in prison for a year and six months. The third person was obtaining money by false pretence and was sentenced for seven years,” he explained.
There are strong indications that the former Governor of Plateau State Joshua Dariye and his counterpart in Taraba State Jolly Nyame were part of the convicts who will enjoy the presidential pandon.
Both former Governors were convicted and sentenced to various jail terms for their involvement in graft.
They were sentenced by the High Court of the FCT, presided over by Justice Adebukola Banjoko, now a Justice of the Court of Appeal.