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Bauchi gov pardons 96 inmates, splashes N13m on them


Bauchi State Governor,  Bala Mohammed, has granted amnesty to 96 inmates of various Correctional Centres across the state under the prerogative of mercy provided for section 212 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic as amended.

The governor also paid over N7 million to offset various sums of fine imposed on them by the various courts that conceited them.

He also directed for the release of the sum of N13 million to be shared to them as transportation fare and palliatives to enable them start lives as citizens of the country.

He said that he decided to grant the pardon and amnesty following the report of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy that the affected convicts have turned a new leaf of life.

He added that only those with minor offences and could not afford to pay the fines imposed on them at conviction were selected for the amnesty programme of his administration.

Mohammed announced that each of the pardoned inmates will get the sum of N100, 000 to start a new business with which to sustain themselves and become good citizens.

He then charged them not to see themselves as prisoners but be free to reintegrate into the society and be of good behavior henceforth.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Hassan U. EI-Yakub, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said the event was a fulfillment of the governor’s constitutional responsibility as a responsible leader.

El-Yakub, who is the Commissioner for Justice, said the pardon granted the inmates was a testimony of Mohammed’s unwavering compassion, empathy, love and concern for the well-being of his people.

“It is equally significant that it is taking place in the holy month of Ramadan,” he said.

“By Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the governor has tremendous powers to Grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offense created by any law of a state a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions.”

He can also Grant to any person a respite, either for an indefinite or a specified period, of execution of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offense and Substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on that person for such an offense.

“Furthermore, remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offense or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the state on account of such an offense,” he said

Section 212 (2).

The Commissioner added that, the power of the Governor under subsection (1) of this section shall be exercised by him after consultation with such Advisory Council of the State on Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the Law of the State.

“In his desire to carry out this laudable responsibility, the Governor promptly approved the reconstituted the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy on the 22nd of December, 2023, a few weeks after my assumption of office in line with the extant provisions of Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Sections 3 & 4 of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy Establishment) Law CAP 114, Laws of Bauchi State, 2001,” he explained.

He disclosed that the Advisory Council received a total of 106 applications from convicts who are seeking the indulgence of His Excellency the Executive Governor, for mercy, pardon or clemency.

The Council also visited the Bauchi State Correctional Service and all the Custodial Centers across the State located in Bauchi, Alkaleri, Azare, Bogoro, Burra, Darazo, Ningi, Zaki, Gamawa, Misau, Shira, Toro, Tafawa Balewa and Jama’are.

After a very meticulous scrutiny and a sober consideration of the applications, the Council carefully selected Ninety-96 deserving inmates and recommended them to his Excellency for approval.

“I am delighted to inform this august gathering that in his usual human nature and benevolence, His Excellency without any hesitation, approved the recommendations of the Council for the release of all the inmates presented by the Council,” he added.

“In addition, His Excellency also magnanimously earmarked and approved the sum of over Seven million Naira for the payment of fines and compensation for those convicts whose sentences involved the payment of fines and compensation.

“His Excellency did not stop there, he has equally earmarked, approved and released the sum of about N13m as palliatives and transport money for the 96 inmates who will shortly be gaining their freedom. The very lucky inmates who are all here with us today will in due course be presented to His Excellency for the grant of pardon,”

The breakdown of the inmates by location is as follows: 17 inmates are from Bauchi Correctional Centre, 7 inmates are from Alkaleri Correctional Centre, 10 inmates are from Azare Correctional Centre, 6 inmates are from Bogoro Correctional Centre, 8 inmates are from Ningi Correctional Centre, 8 inmates are from Burra Correctional Centre, 3 inmates are from Misau Correctional Centre, 7 inmates are from Darazo Correctional Centre, 3 inmates are from Jama’are Correctional Centre, 9 inmates are from Tafawa Balewa Correctional Centre, 5 inmates are from Toro Correctional Centre, 4 inmates are from Gamawa Correctional Centre, 2 inmates are from Shira Correctional Centre and 7 inmates are from Zaki Correctional Centre

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