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Nigerian Government Grants Amnesty To 2,600 Inmates Over Covid-19 Pandemic

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The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday has revealed that a total of 2,600 inmates spread across various custodial centres were granted Amnesty as part of measures to decongest the prisons and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made this known during a presentation Lecture at the Third Annual Lecture on Economy and Security during “COVID-19” at the Faculty of Arts, Ekiti State University, Ado -Ekiti, Ekiti State.

He noted that the timely strategic and aggressive approach put up by the Federal Government during the novel “COVID-19” pandemic since the year 2020 is today been counted as successful giant strides that have positively impacted the lives of inmates in Nigerian’s Correctional Centers.

He said the initiative of the Federal Ministries of Interior and Justice to secure Presidential Pardon and Amnesty for some inmates while also recommending others to State Governments for release was helpful.

Aregbesola said, “A total of 2,600 inmates spread across various custodial Centres benefitted from the Amnesty.

“These included 885 convicts who could not pay their fines totalling ₦21.4million which the Government paid on their behalf to enable them to get their freedom. From this number, 41 inmates were Federal Convicts,” he said.

He commended the Faculty for organizing the event which will remain memorable in the minds of Nigerians for a long time to come.

Speaking further, he disclosed the yardstick and criteria used by the Federal Government to arrive at the selection of inmates to be granted the Presidential Pardon amongst others are; old age, ill-health, convicts serving three years and above, who have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental health issues as well as those with options of fines not exceeding ₦50,000 who have no pending cases.

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