Buhari Pardons 2,600 Prisoners To Contain Coronavirus Outbreak
President Muhammadu Buhari has granted a presidential pardon to 2,600 prison inmates across Nigeria. The amnesty is not extended to inmates sentenced for violent offences.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made this known while addressing a press conference on Thursday, April 9, 2020, that the amnesty is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to decongest the custodial centres and curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID19) in the country.
Mr Aregbesola said that 70 of the inmates would be released from Kuje maximum custodial centre.
“After the release of the first phase, the committee will continue to meet regularly to consider those who deserve the benefit,” he said.
He noted that the amnesty only applies to inmates who are 60 years old and above; those suffering from ill health that could be terminal; inmates serving three years and above and have less than six months left to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with options of fine not exceeding N50,000.
However, Rauf Aregbesola said the amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, and culpable homicide.
“The president has graciously approved this request and others,” the minister said during a press conference.
He said governors of all 36 states in the country will complete the amnesty exercise in line with the federal principle.
41 federal inmates and 29 inmates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja who met the pardon criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Centre, the minister said.