PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has granted pardon to the former governor of old Bendel State, the late Prof Ambrose Alli and a foremost nationalist, the late Chief Anthony Enahoro.
Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola broke the news yesterday at a world news conference held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) in Abuja.
He said three other persons also benefitted from the presidential amnesty. They were ex-Lt.-Col. Moses Effiong, Major E. Olanrewaju and Ajayi Olusola Babalola.
Aregbesola added that the gesture meant that they were never convicted.
He said that 2,600 inmates at correctional centres across the country were also set free by the President in exercise of his pardon, clemency and prerogative of mercy as enshrined in the Constitution.
Aregbesola, who was flanked at the conference by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, said the gesture was based on compassion, which was one of the hallmarks of the current administration.
He added that 70 inmates of the Kuje Custodial Centre, Abuja would also be released immediately after the briefing as all the process of their documentations would be carried out to signify the launch of the release of other inmates at other correction centres.
The minister, who said the move was part of efforts by the Buhari administration to decongest the centres, urged the governors to follow suit by ensuring that those under their domains were pardoned.
Aregbesola said the presidential pardon followed recommendations to the President by a committee and the imperative of drastically reducing the number of inmates in custodial centres across the country due to the outbreak of COVID-19.