Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has granted amnesty to 10 prisoners from various prisons in the state in commemoration of the 56th Independence Anniversary of the country.
A statement issued at the weekend by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, quoting the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola, said that five of the prisoners, who had been sentenced to various years of imprisonment, had their sentences pardoned and released from prison, while one prisoner had his sentence reduced to one year and six months from the initial two years and six months.
The statement added that three of the prisoners who had been on death row, had their sentences commuted to 30years imprisonment while the remaining prisoner had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
Mr. Abimbola said “the main object of the exercise is to decongest the prison which had been a concern at the Security Council Meeting and to extend amnesty to deserving convicts who have shown good behavior over the years of their incarceration.”
The commissioner explained that the power of Prerogative of Mercy is conferred on the Executive Governor, under the 1999 constitution, Section 212(1) and (2) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Under Section 212(1) of the Constitution, the Governor is empowered to pardon, free, grant respite or substitute a severe punishment with lesser one as a form of amnesty for the convicts,” he stressed.