© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Buhari grants amnesty to 2,600 inmates
Aged convicts, prisoners with severe health conditions get pardon
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has granted amnesty to 2,600 inmates across the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
Rauf Aregbesola, the Interior Minister disclosed this on Thursday during a World Press Conference held in Abuja.
But those to be considered must satisfy certain considerations which include old age from 60 years above, those with life-threatening ailments, convicts on three years jail term but only have less than six months to go among others.
“Presidency has graciously approved this request among others. That is why we are here. In our granting of amnesty, graciously, we have looked into and several options were considered but most certainly, and accordingly affected are: old age, If you are 60 years and above; those suffering from ill-health that might likely lead to death; convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental health defect; inmates government had fined with a fine not exceeding N50, 000 and have no pending case,” Aregbesola said.
The Minister was also emphatic that those to be pardoned would be state offenders.
It could be recalled that The ICIR had earlier reported on the need for prison decongestion amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report detailed the vulnerability of inmates as to contracting contagious disease such as the new Coronavirus.
“Using these criteria, we shall be pardoning 2,600 inmates spread across the correctional centres qualified to benefit from the amnesty.
“Let it be clear, these numbers I have given are not federal offenders but state offenders. We must mention these people to let Nigerians know that after doing an assessment of people in the correctional centres and using the criteria I have enumerated, these are those who are qualified to be granted amnesty by the various national authorities in the states.”
Since the COVID-19 virus broke out in China, it has spread across the globe with Nigeria recording 276 confirmed cases, six deaths while 44 persons have been discharged.
More than 1,438,993 confirmed cases have been reported globally, 85, 586 deaths in 214 countries.