Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
In its bid to decongest prisons and avoid the spread of coronavirus among inmates, the Sokoto State Government under its Committee on Prerogative of Mercy Saturday freed 29 inmates from the Sokoto Central Prison.
Also, two civil servants hitherto dismissed from the state’s service now have their penalties converted to retirement.
The Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in the state, who is also the Chairman, Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, Suleman Usman (SAN), announced the pardon at the Sokoto Central Prison on behalf of the Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
According to Usman, “The pardon was at the instance of the executive powers vested on the governor to offer mercy to inmates by the 1999 constitution as amended.”
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 called on the freed prisoners to shun vices and engage in viable ventures that would uplift their living standards.
He further said the exercise is carried out on a routine basis to deserving inmates in order to offer mercy to them.
He later presented the sum of N50,000 cash to each of 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 Attorney-General also disclosed the names of the ex-civil servants who benefited from the amnesty as Bawa Sahabi Tambuwal and Murtala Mani Salihu.
Speaking, on behalf of the state Controller of Correctional Services, the deputy controller in charge of the prison, Mallam Idris Muhammad, thanked the state government for its continued support and encouragement to the prison.