Nine inmates with conviction of life sentences were among the (46) convicts pardoned by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state.
All the (46) inmates were serving their respective sentences at the Gusau Medium Correctional Center.
Chairman of the Zamfara committee on Prerogative of Mercy who doubled as the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Junaidu Aminu Kaura said the Governor is empowered by section 212 of the Nigeria’s Constitution 1999 (as amended) to grant such pardon.
Juniadu further said, the (7) man committee of Prerogative of Mercy headed by him had commenced this exercise nine months back and also conducted a thorough behavioral analysis of the inmates while in Correctional custody before the decision to grant them the pardon was arrived at.
Barrister Junaidu, who further informed that, the Governor has a power to either pardon a convict or redress the punishment sentenced on him by the court disclosed that, the total of those awaiting death sentence were eleven out of whom nine were pardoned following recommendation passed by the committee.
He added that another five convicts out of the (46) pardoned were initially sentenced to death by hanging but the Governor redressed their punishment to life imprisonment.
He noted that two years after, the committee noticed that there is significant improvement in their attitudes which resulted in their inclusion for pardoned.
According to barrister Junaidu, another thirty inmates, who enjoyed the Governor’s prerogative of mercy, were those sentenced to twenty years down to six months jail term for committing lighter offenses.