From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Government has inaugurated the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy with the task of assisting the President to discharge his constitutional responsibility of granting pardon to inmates, ex-convicts and decongesting prisons nationwide.
The committee, which is four-year tenured, is chaired by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Malami, who inaugurated the 11- man committee Tuesday at the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, (OSGF), said its reconstitution would go a long way in bringing about a drastic reduction in the population of prisoners in the nation’s criminal justice system.
The AGF said the inauguration of the committee would signal the processes leading to nationwide prison visits and consequent recommendation of eligible ex-convicts and convicts for presidential pardon.
The committee which was reconstituted on June 19, 2018 to discharge prerogative of mercy has statutory terms of reference under Section 175 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic.
“The responsibility of the committee is sensitive and enormous. The purpose for its constitution and its guiding principles must be completely adhered to so as not to elude the process,” Malami said.
The committee has as members the Inspector General of Police, representatives of the Nigeria Prisons Service, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Jamaat Nasri Islam (JNI), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Permanent Secretary Special Duty OSGF and other eminent members of the society. The Director Special Duties OSGF is the Secretary of the committee.
The Permanent Secretary SD OSGF, Allo William, represented the SGF, Boss Mustapha, at the inauguration.