Nigerian leader approves release of 2,600 prison inmates

APA-Abuja (Nigeria)

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of 2,600 prison inmates In the bid to decongest the prisons and discourage the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Buhari, who gave the approval on Thursday granted Presidential pardon to the former governor of old Bendel State, late Prof Ambrose Alli and a foremost nationalist, late Chief Anthony Enahoro.

Nigeria’s Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola said at a briefing on Thursday in Abuja that three other high profile persons also benefitted from the presidential amnesty.

He explained that the gesture means that they were never convicted.

Aregbesola, who was at the briefing with ministers of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also said that the gesture was based on compassion and added that 70 inmates of the Kuje custodian centre (prison) Abuja would also be released as part of efforts to decongest the centre.

Aregbesola said that the Presidential pardon followed the recommendations to the President by a Presidential Committee and the imperative of drastically reducing the number of inmates in custodian centres across the country due to the outbreak of COVID 19.

As the palliatives spread, the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have agreed to government’s suggestion to offer to supply electricity free of charge for two months to all Nigerians.

A statement by the Executive Director (Research & Advocacy), Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan, issued on Thursday, said the DisCos recognised the challenging effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economic and daily lives of the customers.

“In fulfilment, our commitments to the nation, we hereby align ourselves with the efforts of the National Assembly and the Federal Executive to mitigate the hardships that are currently being borne by our customers and other citizens all over the country.

“We commend the Federal Legislators, the Executive arm and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for their initiative and we are committed to working with them to ensure more efficient power supply within this difficult period, as the nation battles with the ravages of COVID-19,’’ the statement said.


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