A civil society organisation, Equity And Justice In Politics And Governance Movement (EJPGM) has said the state pardon granted to 159 Nigerians is not strange.
The group commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for the gesture.
The Executive Secretary of the group, Comrade Ogbeh Tobias, said before the state pardon granted to the 159 persons, about 10,000 inmates have also benefitted from the decongestion of Correctional Centres embarked upon by federal government since 2017.
He said this is not the first time state pardon will be granted to inmates serving various jail terms and surely won’t be the last.
Tobias said, ”So, the point must be made here that there is nothing strange in the action of the federal government to grant state pardon to these 159 persons after thorough deliberation by the council of of state.
”The above goes to show that government has been championing the decongestion of correctional centers through pardon and payment of fines of some inmates.
”Over 10,000 inmates were freed under this scheme
”In its almost seven years in power, this is the first time the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will be granting state pardon to anybody including the political class and this was done after they have served considerably long time of their jail term.
”Also, this is the first time the deployment of section 175 (1) of the constitution that requires the advice of the council of state is being used by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari even when over 10,000 have benefited from such compassion over compassionate interventions in response to public outcry for decongestion of our correctional centers formation which was at a point adjudged to have over 70% awaiting trials inmates.
”Those granted state pardon were named, shamed, convicted and jailed. The corruptly acquired property confiscated and returned to treasury, having spent considerable term in jail and shown remorsel, it is not out of place if they are pardoned.
”In case those condemning the state pardon by President Buhari have forgotten, the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan also granted state pardon, so, why should there be controversy over this one.”
He said accusing fingers should not be pointed to he federal government as aiding and abetting corruption with state pardon to those Nigerians.
”Accusing fingers should not be pointed to the government as aiding and abetting corruption because Nigerians have been clamouring for the decongestion of correctional centres across the country.
”Apart from decongestion of correctional centres, interventions such as NPower, Facilities to support Small and Medium enterprises in the country, Covid-19 palliative, post covid-19 loan facility and many others have been done by the government and are all targeted at the masses.
”Every good move by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will always be condemned by detractors because they HAVE NEVER AND WILL NEVER see anything good in the government, even, when majority of Nigerians applauded the move”, Tobias said.