The Federal Government has granted amnesty to no fewer than 2,600 inmates as part of measures to decongest prison facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, announced this at a press conference which held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja today April 9.
According to the Minister, those eligible for the pardon include inmates that are 60 years and above; those suffering from ill-health likely to result in death; convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000. Aregbesola said that out of the said number, 70 inmates will be released today from Kuje maximum custodial centre. “In a symbolic gesture of the amnesty given to the 2,600 inmates across Nigeria, 41 Federal inmates and 29 FCT inmates making a total of 70 inmates who met the above criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja.” “This amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on.” “The Governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction most of the inmates were incarcerated will complete the exercise in line with the federal principle.” he said