By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, exercising the powers conferred on him in section 212 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has granted state pardon to seven inmates serving various jail terms in some prisons in the state.
Lalong declared this in a statewide broadcast Monday to mark the Nigeria’s independence.
The governor said: “As a mark of our appreciation and thanksgiving to God for the guidance, protection and successes recorded, and in exercise of the powers conferred on me as governor in section 212 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), after due consultation with the state advisory council on prerogative of mercy, I have granted prerogative of mercy to seven (7) prisoners, as follows: two (2) criminal convictions of twenty-one (21) years each are now committed to ten (10) years imprisonment each and five (5) convictions ranging from several years imprisonments to death sentences are now committed to absolute pardon. All these pardons are granted for reasons of good conduct, with effect from the different dates of sentences.”
The Commissioner for Information Yakubu Dati said that Lalong took the decision after consultation with the state advisory council on prerogative of mercy.
Those granted pardon by the governor include: Samson Jonah, Dung Mwankon, Vincent Bulus, Hosea Pokyes and Maxwell Idi.
Yakubu Yohana and Victor Bakyil, who were sentenced to 20 years each, now have their sentences reduced to 10 years each.
The crimes of those pardoned included attempted robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft, culpable homicide, and possession of fire arms.
Lalong implored them to turn a new leaf and make useful contribution to society.
The governor however expressed sadness over the persisting security challenge in the state.
He said: “It is sad that we are celebrating this year’s independence with heavy hearts, considering the recent unfortunate incidences at Rukuba road, and some areas in the Jos metropolis. Some innocent citizens were attacked and killed by agents of evil and destruction. While strongly condemning this tragic incidence, I wish to, on behalf of the government, commiserate with families of the bereaved, while the security agencies have been tasked to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“My administration feels deeply concerned, and has directed security agencies to continue their tireless efforts at nipping the incidents in the bud. I therefore dedicate this year’s independence message to the deceased and their families as well as the unfortunately displaced citizens who have been dislocated from their homes by senseless violent attacks, and living under various forms of trauma and deprivations.
“My prayer goes out to all the victims with the assurance that this administration will not leave any stone unturned towards ensuring that critical issues of resettlement are properly addressed. I am glad that the special committee on the resettlement of displaced persons constituted by the administration is working round the clock to ensure early return of the IDPs to their ancestral homes before the end of the year, while more rad