In commemoration of Nigeria’s 55th Independence Day anniversary, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, has released nine prisoners serving various jail terms.
The Nation reports that the gesture was pursuant to section 212 of the Nigerian constitution as conferred on the governor.
El-Rufai announced his decision during a colourful parade at the main bowl of Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.
Addressing the crowd of people, the governor said:
“On this occasion, the Kaduna state government decided to extend mercy to prisoners. Pursuant to Section 212 of the Constitution, the prerogative of mercy was exercised in favour of 14 prisoners.
“The government commuted the death sentences of five convicts, who will now serve prison time. Five prisoners serving sentences of three years and above were released on the basis of good behavior or time served already.
“In addition, three prisoners were released on the basis on age, while one person was released due to ill health. In doing our duty to show mercy, the government warns that it will not tolerate crime and threats to security.”
Earlier this month, Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor of Kano state, set 14 inmates of the Kurmawa Central Prison free.
He explained that his gesture was a part of the state government’s efforts to ease sufferings of the common man, especially those prisoners who could not pay the fine.