The Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed has lamented conditions of prisons in the country where “hundreds of inmates are crammed into a prison meant for a quarter of that number or where suspects spend years in prison while awaiting trial for offences that attract less severe penalties simply because they cannot afford bail”.
The Governor, who bemoaned the deplorable plight of prisoners in Nigeria while inaugurating the Kwara State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy at Government House, Ilorin, called for reforms of prisons and associated judicial processes as a matter of urgency and necessity.
Dr Ahmed said adequate attention must be given to the fate of children born and raised in prison and the bleak and potentially uncertain future such “unfortunate” circumstance of birth creates for the children and the society.
According to the governor, in order to ensure justice for all and sundry, his administration has decided to inaugurate the eight member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy in line with the administration’s commitment to the rule of law.
“It is noteworthy that the exercise of prerogative of mercy in deserving situations can redress wrongs inflicted on those erroneously condemned or jailed due to legal technicalities”, Dr Ahmed observed.
Gov Ahmed assured the council of a judicious exercise of the state pardon and called on its members to work tirelessly to achieve the set objectives and ensure that deserving inmates are adequately reintegrated into the society.
Earlier, the Council’s chairman and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Kamaldeen Ajibade said members are competent and confirmed people of good and reasonable character in the state.
He said members of the council welcome innovative ideas within their schedule assuring the governor that the purpose for which the council was established will be met.
Barrister Ajibade thanked the governor not only for reconstituting the council but also providing the wherewithal for them to operate with a promise to be dedicated and discharge their duties diligently.
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