The Lagos State Government, through the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, has pardoned 14 inmates of the Maximum Security Prison in Kirikiri.
Those pardoned had been imprisoned for more than 20 years for various offences, while 20 others on death row had their punishment converted to life imprisonment. The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, disclosed this on Friday while handing over the order for the release of the inmates signed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to the prison authorities.
He said the development was pursuant to the constitutional provision which provided for the setting up of an advisory council and empowered the governor to grant clemency to convicted persons on the advice of the council.
“Prerogative of Mercy is a right recognised under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Section 212(2) of the Constitution provides that the powers conferred on the Governor under Section 212(1) shall be exercised by him after consultation with the Advisory Council of the State on the Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the Law of the State” the commissioner stated.
The attorney general explained that the inmates were considered to benefit from the prerogative of mercy after due examination of their case files, which revealed that they have been reformed and ready for re-integration into the society. Kazeem, who is also a member of the Council, congratulated the inmates and advised them to be of good conduct outside the prison.