President Muhammad Buhari has granted presidential pardon to 2,600 inmates of Correctional Centres nationwide, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbeshola, has said.
Mr Aregbesola, who made this known while addressing a news conference on Thursday in Abuja, said that 70 of the inmates would be released from Kuje maximum custodial centre
“After the release of the first phase, the committee will continue to meet regularly to consider those who deserve the benefit,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the UN had advised Member States to reduce the number of inmates in custodial centres, in view of the social distancing policy aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus.
He described the launch of the 2020 presidential pardon as historic, adding that the process of selecting beneficiaries started in 2018.
Mr Malami warned the beneficiaries to desist from crimes, urging the community to receive them without stigmatisation.
He lamented that 70 per cent of inmates in Nigeria’s Correctional Centres were awaiting trial.
In his remarks. the Controller-General of NCoS, Ja’afaru Ahmed, said that so far the service had not recorded any case of COVID-19.
He said that the exercise would go a long way in reducing the number of inmates in the service nationwide.