President Muhammad Buhari has granted presidential pardon to 2,600 inmates of Correctional Centres nationwide, according to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbeshola.
Aregbesola, who made this known while addressing a news conference on Thursday in Abuja, said 70 of the inmates would be released from Kuje Maximum Custodial Centre
He said: “After the release of the first phase, the committee will continue to meet regularly to consider those who deserve the benefit.”
Also speaking, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the United Nations 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.
Malami warned 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 so far the service had not recorded any case of COVID-19.
Ahmed said the exercise would go a long way in reducing the number of inmates in the correctional centres nationwide.