No fewer than 2,600 inmates were on Thursday granted amnesty by the Federal Government in a bid to decongest prison facilities in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who disclosed this at a conference at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja, stated that the affected inmates include inmates that are 60years and above; those suffering from ill-health likely to terminate in death; convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.
Aregbesola said, “In a symbolic gesture of the amnesty given to the 2,600 inmates across Nigeria, 41 Federal inmates and 29 FCT inmates making a total of 70 inmates who met the above criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja.
The Minister stated that the amnesty does not apply to convicts who were sentenced for violent or extreme offences.
He said: This amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on.’’
The Governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction most of the inmates were incarcerated are expected to complete the exercise in line with the federal principle.