Marking Nigeria’s independence anniversary, governors of Ekiti and Plateau states granted pardon to a number of prisoners on Tuesday, October 1.
16 years ago, brothers Olabode and Julius Abirifon were sentenced to death by the State High Court, but had their death sentence communed to life imprisonment.
Eight others, Ousola Ojo, Alex Qasum, Segun Olowoyo, Simon Okewe, Opeyemi Ogundele, Joseph Adefase, Taiwo Ibikunle and Kehinde Fagbemi, who had been serving various prison terms, were released unconditionally.
The Governor said he was acting in recommendation of the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy, and exercised the power conferred on him by the 1999 Constitution.
He, however, warned the ‘ex-criminals’ against going back to their old habits, because saying anyone caught committing crime would be prosecuted.
The Governor further announced approval of six per cent increase in the monthly emolument of all pensioners, with effect from January 2014.
With effect from October, 5,000 more elderly citizens of the state would be accommodated under his administration’s Social Security Scheme.
He added that another batch of 5,000 youths would be engaged under the Ekiti Youth Volunteer Corps Scheme on a N10,000 monthly allowance. 1,800 youths would be engaged under a newly-introduced Peace Corps Initiative to be launched before the end of October.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the reprieve that came their way was also in commemoration of the 17 years of the creation of Ekiti state.
In Plateau State, Governor Jonah Jang granted amnesty to five prisoners who were serving various terms at the Jos Main Prison.
It was explained in a statement signed by Mr James Mannok, Director of Press Affairs, that the governor’s action was in exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 212 of the Nigeria Constitution.
The beneficiaries – Jerry Arin, Iveh Aramah, Peter Gazi, Domchang Jatau and Pankyes Yakubu – were released unconditionally.
The statement urged the beneficiaries to reintegrate themselves into the society and be of good conduct, while participating meaningfully to the development of Plateau.