By Charles Nwabardi
A total of N1. 6 million has been released to 32 pardoned inmates at the Sokoto Correctional facility to enable them start a new life.
The Sokoto State Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, on Wednesday, freed the 32 inmates involved in various degrees of offences to decongest the facility.
A cheque of N50, 000 each totaling N1.6 million was presented to the pardoned inmates on behalf of the state government, saying the gesture would enable them to set up some useful ventures while starting a new life out of the prison.
The Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Suleiman Usman (SAN), announced the pardon at the Sokoto Central Correctional Centre on behalf of the Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
According to Usman, “the pardon was at the instance of the state governor, who has executive powers vested on him by Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, to offer mercy to inmates”.
He said the gesture, while aimed at enabling the ex-prisoners to reunite with their family members and become decent citizens, was also intended to decongest the prison and protect the inmates from being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commissioner, who is also the state Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, called on the freed prisoners to shun vices and engage in viable ventures that would uplift their living standards.
He also advised those pardoned to be of good character and avoid anything that would make them break the law and order in the state and the country in general.
Suleman further said the exercise was carried out on a routine basis to deserving inmates in order to offer mercy to them.
The Sokoto State Deputy Controller (Operations) of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lawali Idris, lauded the efforts of the state government for granting freedom to such a number of prisoners.
Lawali also thanked the state government for its continued support and encouragement to the prison.