Governor Sule pardons 14 inmates, donates N3m, 100 bags of rice to Lafia correctional centre
Governor Abdullahi Sule has pardoned 14 inmates selected from across the six correctional centres in Nasarawa State, in line with the exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 212(1) and (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).
Governor Sule said the exercise was carried out after due consultation with the state Advisory Council on prerogative of mercy, with a view to ensuring due compliance with the law and to avoid negative impacts.
The Governor said he is always sad when he visit the facility and to see the faces of young, productive people who should be out there contributing to the development of the state.
“I am always sad when I come and see the faces of very productive people, some of you very young who should be out there contributing to the development of our state, especially at a time like this. And contributing to the development yourselves and your families,” he said.
He therefore, urged those getting the pardon to be of good character and to show good example so that government would be motivated to free more inmates in the future.
Governor Sule particularly appealed to them to work with the security agencies by sharing vital information that would be positive to the society.
He expressed satisfaction that correctional centres now have skills acquisition centres where the inmates would learn various skills to enable them live productive life outside.
The Governor noted that his administration provided additional security measures at all the correctional facilities in the state, not so much as to prevent jailbreak but to protect the facilities from intruders.
He said his administration will provide necessary facilities at the Awe Correctional Centre, as a way to decongest the centres.
Governor Sule then announced a personal donation of three million naira to the inmates. He also presented 100 bags of rice as palliative.
He equally accepted to provide a utility vehicle to the Lafia Correctional Centre.
In his response, Nasarawa State Controller of Correctional Service, Mr Ibrahim Yunusa Adda, said they feel honoured having the Governor at the facility, stressing that it is not easy to have a person of Governor Sule’s capacity visit the correctional centre but for his love for the citizens of the state and humanity in general.
Adda added that the 14 inmates are being granted a reprieve because of the Governor’s kindness, his love for humanity, and the belief that democracy is not only for those outside the walls of the centres.
“Our records shows that since 1998, no administration has granted release and pardon much more than you have done. This is a clear manifestation of the commitment of the Governor to decongest the correctional facilities in the state,” he stated.
While appreciating Governor Sule for all the interventions provided by his administration across all the six correctional centres in the state, Mr. Adda further requested for a utility vehicle to be used at the Lafia Correctional Centre.
He explained that the correctional centre in Nasarawa State, which also serves the FCT, presently has 1, 922 inmates, out of which over 1, 300 are on awaiting trial.
The correctional centre controller decried the congestion across the six facilities in the state, adding that so far, and in collaboration with the National Open University (NOUN), 158 inmates are pursuing their first degree, with 14 masters students, while several others are preparing to write NECO, WAEC or JAMB.
He explained that the facility also can boast of a skills acquisition centre where inmates are acquiring skills in tailoring, weilding, shoemaking and carpentry towards making them better citizens.
Also speaking during the event, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu said he has taken steps to decongest the correctional facilities by instructing magistrates not to send those who can easily be bailed to correctional centres.
The Chief Judge added that through the administration of penal justice law, the courts can deploy plea bargaining towards decongesting the correctional facilities.
“It always breaks my heart to see our able young men being incarcerated, knowing that they can give a lot to society. We are keeping them here not as a punishment but as a method of correcting them. We are also sad by the overcrowding of our correctional centres,” she said.
On his part, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Labaran Magaji described the Governor’s benevolence in granting pardon to the inmates as not only constitutional bit divine.
In a vote of thanks on behalf of the inmates being freed, Ali Mohammed, thanked Governor Sule for his benevolence, assuring that they will turn over a new leaf when they get back to the society.