Prison Decongestion: Buhari To Grant Presidential Pardons To Drug Peddlers, 419ners, If Remorseful
Yesterday, the Federal Government said presidential pardons would be granted to drug pushers, persons convicted of obtaining money under false pretences and certain categories of prisoners who have shown remorse while in prison, to decongest prisons in the country.
Speaking while on a visit to prisons in the North-East and North-Central zones, vice-chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, William Alo, who is also the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties in the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said President Buhari was empowered by his statutory responsibilities and backed by Section 175 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to accept, reject and grant pardons to inmates of Nigerian prisons.
In a statement, he said, “Presidential pardons will be granted to inmates who committed federal offences such as drug peddling, vandalisation of public property, obtaining money by tricks, otherwise known as 419, and other related offences, if proved that they are remorseful of their actions and meet the committee criteria.”
Also speaking while hosting Alo and his team, the Chief Judge of Plateau State, Pius Damulak, called on the committee to review the cases of prison inmates with compassion as many of them are serving terms as a result of poverty and their inability to pay fines imposed as options.