By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Over 200 inmates in prisons across the country are to be recommended for presidential pardon by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM) upon completion of the committee’s
This hint was given by the Assistant Controller of Prisons Operations, Mr. Abubakar Garba, in a statement issued Monday by the Special Duties Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Garba gave the optimism during the
nationwide visit to prisons by PACPM to investigate cases of prisoners and ex-convicts, who are deserving of presidential pardon, with the ultimate aim of decongesting prisons in the country.
The committee in the course of its assignment, visited the Ikoyi and Kirikiri prisons in Lagos and other jails in Awka, Anambra State, Kwale and Ogwashi-ukwu, Delta State, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Akure, Ondo State, and Ilesha Osun State.
The PACPM, chaired by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), is charged with the responsibility of recommending to the President, prisoners and ex-convicts meriting presidential pardon.
The committee’s vice chairman, Chief William Alo, who is also the Permanent Secretary Special Duties Office, said the objective of the committee was to interview, select and determine convicts and ex- convicts to be granted presidential pardon for onward recommendation to the National Council of State, headed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He made this known during courtesy calls on the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi (SAN), and the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon Justice Opeyemi Oke.
Alo disclosed that some of the convicts were sentenced under military Decree before the commencement of the 1999 constitution as amended, consequently giving the committee the powers to investigate convictions.
Ajayi called on the committee to tread with caution while investigating the prisoners in order not to release unrepentant criminals back into the society thereby causing more social problems in the country.
PACPM took time out to interrogate the prisoners to find out if they were remorseful and eligible for presidential pardon and if they had taken advantage of the skills acquisition programmes offered in the prisons for their onward re-integration into the society if granted pardon by the president.