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COVID-19: Gov. Ortom pardons 16 prison inmates

2021: Ortom urges Nigerians to pray over security and economic challenges

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State Thursday granted pardon to 16 prison inmates at the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, MSCC, Makurdi.

The Governor said the decision to pardon the inmates was based on the directive of the Federal Government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor who was represented at the ceremony by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa urged the inmates to avoid the mistakes that sent them to prison as they had been given a second chance to be good citizens.

He charged the inmates to enter the new year as reformed people and help in moulding the character of members of their respective families and communities to stay away from crime.

The governor’s decision also followed the recommendation by the Benue State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

Earlier, the Assistant Controller, Nigerian Correctional Service, Makurdi, Dr. Alhaji Thomas appreciated Governor Ortom, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy for coming to the aid of the inmates, as the act would also decongest the prison.

Responding on behalf of the other pardoned inmates, Mr Sani Alhassan appreciated Governor Ortom for fulfilling his promise to free more inmates during his last visit to the Correctional Center.

He said he had been in prison since 2008 and was happy to go home, assuring that he and the other inmates were reformed people.

Out of the 16 inmates, 11 were those who could not pay the option of fine during their conviction and the government decided to pay their fines, while five were those who had few months to complete their prison term.

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