In the spirit of the New Year, the governors of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, and Gombe states, on Monday, granted amnesty to 96 inmates serving various jail terms in different custodial centres.
Benue Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, granted pardon to 12 inmates at the correctional centre in the state.
Among those he granted amnesty was a former civil servant, Dennis Yogbo, who had spent 29 years in the correctional centre.
The governor expressed worry that most of the inmates were young persons who shouldn’t be anywhere near the prison.
He said, “I will make provision for better welfare for you here but this shouldn’t be home for you. I am quite shocked to see the faces of many young people here where there is a total of 525 inmates including 25 females – one with a baby, others who came in with pregnancy.”
He explained that the inmates were released based on the recommendation of the Benue State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy headed by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Fidelis Mnyim.
Responding on behalf of other inmates, Barnabas Apaav, thanked the governor and promised they would be of good behaviour as they go back to society.
Similarly, Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State, on Monday, announced clemency for 31 deserving inmates in the spirit of the New Year celebration.
The governor, in a broadcast monitored by our correspondent, said, “In the spirit of renewal and progress, I am pleased to announce that in the exercise of my prerogative power, we shall be granting clemency to 31 deserving inmates.
“This decision reflects our commitment to justice, compassion, and the belief in the transformative power of rehabilitation.”
Also, the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, pardoned 14 inmates.
The gesture, according to a statement on Monday by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Labaran Magaji, was under the provisions of Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution.
Tha attorney general added that the pardon was granted based on the Nasarawa State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.
In Gombe State, 39 inmates were also granted clemency by Governor Inuwa Yahaya.
This was made known by the governor in a statewide broadcast on Monday in Gombe, as part of activities to mark the New Year.
He stated that the gesture was done in the spirit of the New Year and to give the inmates an opportunity to change into better persons.
He said, “In the spirit of the New Year, and based on the recommendation of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, I have granted clemency to 39 convicted inmates in our custodial centres.
“Twenty-six of them will be granted unconditional pardon, while the remaining 13 have their sentences commuted to shorter periods.
“It is our hope that the beneficiaries will turn a new leaf and embrace this opportunity for a fresh start,” the governor said.