Lagos pardons 14 inmates 20 years after incarceration

The Lagos State Government, through the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, on Friday said it had pardoned 14 inmates of the Maximum Security Prison in Kirikiri .

The inmates were said to have stayed in prison for over 20 years for various offences while 20 others on death row had their punishment commuted to life imprisonment, according to a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs in the Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, SAN, noted that the development was pursuant to the constitutional provision for the creation of an advisory council and the power bestowed on the governor to grant clemency to convicted persons on the advice of the council.

Kazeem, who spoke while handing over the order signed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the release of the inmates to prison authorities, said, “Prerogative of mercy is a right recognised under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); Section 212(2) of the Constitution provides that the powers conferred on the governor under Section 212(1) shall be exercised by him after consultation with the advisory council of the state on the prerogative of mercy as may be established by the Law of the State.”

He also said that the beneficiaries were selected after due examination of their case files, which revealed that they had been reformed and ready for reintegration.

Kazeem, who is also a member of the council, congratulated the inmates and advised them to be of good conduct outside the prison.

The Chairman of the council, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, said that the constitution of the CPM also served as a way of decongesting the prisons and, therefore, advised the beneficiaries to avoid acts that led them to prison in the first place.

On his part, the Controller of Prison in charge of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Emmanuel Oluwaniyi, commended the state government for assisting to de-congest the prison.
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