Kano state government north western Nigeria has granted official pardon to 500 inmates of prisons in the state, in the spirit of the Eid el-fitr celebration.
The State Governor Dr. Abdulahi Umar Ganduje made the disclosure at Kano Central Prison Kurmawa, in the state capital, while addressing a cross section of the convicts, shortly after the Eid prayer in the state capital.
The Governor, who was accompanied to the prison by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. A.B. Dambazau (rtd), explained that a “committee of officials of the state government and the state command of Nigeria Prison Service has already been mandated to produce names of deserving inmates, within the next two weeks”.
“200 of the prisoners who would be pardoned would come from the state Central prison while the remaining 300 would come from Goron Dutse prison and other satellite prisons in the state,” explained the Governor
The governor stressed that even though many of the prisoners have shown repentance and have changed positively in terms of behavior, there are procedures and processes that would warrant their consideration for pardon.
“The issue of condemned prisoners, those on life imprisonment and those with many years in prison without conviction, a committee would be set up to review their cases and make recommendations to the government, for possible review of their punishments. The committee would submit its reports in two weeks,” the governor assured.
Dr. Ganduje used the occasion to formally declare 50 persons free, who were earlier on, granted amnesty, during the state 50th anniversary celebrations last May. He said all of them would be given transport fare to their various destinations.
In his remarks, the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. A.B. Dambazau (rtd) commended Kano state government for providing land to the Nigeria Prison Service, to enable it build a 3, 000 inmate capacity prison in the state.
Turning to the inmates freed by the Ganduje administration, he charged them to “go back to the society and engage in legitimate activities, warning that if they revert to crime, chances are that if apprehended, they would not come out of prison again.”
He however, asked the government to work with the Nigeria Prison Service, in the proposed co-location of prisons and courts, to ease the problem of conveyance of prisoners to courts, as well as to support the state Command towards the success of its on-going skills acquisition centre project, at Kurmawa Prison.
In his address earlier on, the state Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Haruna M.N. Falali, explained that since its inception two years ago, the Ganduje administration has granted amnesty to over 3, 000 prisoners, assuring that the government would not relent in pardoning truly reformed prisoners.