No fewer than 80 inmates in Lagos State are being considered for presidential pardon.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy during a visit to the Ikoyi Custodial Centre.
A deputy director in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Leticia Ayoola-Daniels, who represented the Attorney-General of the Federation, said the committee would recommend deserving inmates to President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said, “In Lagos, we are looking at assessing about 80 and you cannot determine. It depends on if they meet up the criteria. If they fall under the criteria, they can be considered for pardon.
“The committee is expected to be guided by rigorous criteria in ensuring that only deserving persons are considered for pardon.
“Accordingly as provided under the Constitution, the committee may also recommend a less severe form of punishment imposed on a convict for an offence, among other mitigating measures.”
The Controller of Corrections, Lagos State, Francis Adebisi, appealed to the Federal Government to upgrade custodial centres in the state.
Francis also called for support for the non-custodial segment of the Nigeria Correctional Service.
He said, “This custodial centre was built with a capacity of 800 inmates. But presently, we are locking 2,500, meaning we are operating above capacity. Our critical need now is infrastructural upgrade. The controller general is doing his best to ensure that we have some infrastructural upgrade.
“Also, the NCS has been divided into two: custodial and non-custodial sections. The non-custodial is just taking off. We will appreciate the Federal Government to fund the service very well so that the controller general can implement the non-custodial measures more effectively and that will help us decongest our centres more.”
Adebisi said the presidential committee started interviewing inmates in March 2021, adding that it was the second time the team would be visiting to talk to the inmates. (Punch)