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Covid-19 in Nigeria

FG frees 2,600 prisoners over Covid-19

Valentine Chinyem

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The Federal Government has ordered the release of 2,600 inmates across the country.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in a press conference on Thursday said the decision was taken as part of measures to decongest prison facilities in the country amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said, “In a symbolic gesture of the amnesty given to the 2,600 inmates across Nigeria, 41 Federal inmates and 29 FCT inmates making a total of 70 inmates who met the above criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Center in Abuja.

“This amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on.

“The governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction most of the inmates were incarcerated will complete the exercise in line with the federal principle.”

He added that, five ex-convicts recommended for presidential pardon have also been pardoned.

“They are late Prof Ambrose Ali, Late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Ex Lt. Col. Moses Effiong, Major E.J. Olanrewaju and Ajayi Olusola Babalola.”

Prof Ali was the governor of the old Bendel State in the Second Republic (1978-1983) and a great progressive while Chief Enahoro was a foremost nationalist who moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence.