Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has granted State Mercy Pardon to 153 inmates drawn from various correctional facilities in Bauchi State.
WikkiTimes learned that seven out of the 153 pardoned inmates came from a remand home. The inmates comprise both males and females.
The governor said the pardoned inmates were previously incarcerated for various infractions.
He said his resolution to extend the State Mercy Pardon to the selected 153 inmates as provided for in section 2121 of the 1999 Constitution was purposely to make laws of the land as humanely as possible.
The governor said most of the pardoned inmates are rural dwellers, insisting that poor rural Bauchi electorates leased their mandate to him when they elected him as governor in 2019.
Bala said that fines and penalties levied on the benefiting inmates have been fully upset, adding that, “I paid from my own personal pocket.”
The governor called on Nigerians to work hard to avoid criminalizing poverty in order to a justice system that will be fair to both rich and poor.
Bala called for the establishment of a branch of the court of appeal in Bauchi to alleviate the difficulties Bauchi citizens faced while pursuing appeal cases in either Jos or Gombe.
He said Bauchi State Government is determined to provide all that is required to set up a branch of the court of appeal in the state to bring justice closer to Bauchi citizens.
Bauchi State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Abubakar Abdulhamid Bunun said the executive pardon granted to the inmates is part of the exclusive powers that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vested on the governor.
He said while selecting the beneficiaries, due diligence and laid down rules were strictly followed, adding that the Controller General of Nigeria Correctional Service granted clearance in lieu of the pardoned inmates.
He said state mercy pardons granted to the inmates will further decongest Bauchi Correctional Centers.
The inmates were empowered with the sum of N50,000 each to start a business to become self-reliant after exiting correctional service.