The Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy on Tuesday interviewed and screened 18 inmates in Lagos in preparation for presidential pardon.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was inaugurated by the presidency to pardon inmates based on federal offences and number of years.
NAN reports that 10 inmates were interviewed and screened at the Ikoyi Prison, four from Maximum Prison and four from the Female Prison, both in Kirikiri, Lagos by the 12-member committee.
William Alo, Committee Chairman and Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that the committee was inaugurated by the presidency to address overwhelming congestion in prisons across the country.
Alo said the committee would make appropriate recommendations to the presidency for approval.
He said: “Our own is to make appropriate recommendation for approval by the presidency.”
Assistant Controller General of Prison in charge of operations, Garba Abubakar, said that the committee was saddled with the responsibility of assisting President Muhammadu Buhari in discharging his constitutional responsibility.
Abubakar added that the president had the prerogative of mercy to pardon deserving prisoners and ex-convicts and re-integrate them into the society so as to decongest the prisons nationwide.
He said: “There are serious challenges in the Nigeria prisons, especially decongestion of the prisons.
“We have moved round three geo-political zones, we have done the South-South, South-East and now we are in the South West to prepare inmates for pardon.”
Controller of Prisons in Lagos State, Tunde Ladipo, commended the committee for their efforts and urged the inmates to be pardoned to use lessons learnt during their stay in prison to become better persons in the society.
Ladipo urged other inmates who were not considered to be patient, adding that the process is a continuous exercise.
NAN reports that committee comprised officials from the Ministry of Justice and representative from the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State.