FORMER governors of Plateau and Taraba states, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, were released from prison on Monday.
Their release comes four months after the presidential pardon approved by the Council of State, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
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Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), FCT Command Humphrey Chukwuedo confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), saying the warrant for their release was obtained on Monday.
“We have no right to hold them further as soon as we have the letter of clemency from the Presidency. If we do, it will be against their fundamental human rights. They have left the facility today. We got the warrant of release today and have done the needful,” he said.
The former governors were among 159 convicts pardoned in April, based on recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy, according to Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami.
The pardon was widely criticised by Nigerians who regarded the act as a contradiction to the fight against corruption.
But the Presidency insisted that the pardon was based on life-threatening ailments suffered by the governors.
Nyame had been serving a 12-year jail term in the Kuje Medium Security Correctional Centre after being sentenced for misappropriation of funds while he was governor of Taraba between 1999 and 2007.
Dariye was initially sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, but the sentence was reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
Both had misappropriated billions of naira during their tenure as governors.
Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.