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HomeNewsDon't Remand Persons for Mundane Offences, Gov Bala Lashes Bauchi Judges

Don’t Remand Persons for Mundane Offences, Gov Bala Lashes Bauchi Judges

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By; Mohammed Kawu, Bauchi

Bauchi State Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar has been tasked to prevail on judges, especially those at the lower courts to be weary of remanding persons at Correctional centres for simple and mundane offences or even civil cases that matters on matrimonies.

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Governor Bala Mohammed who gave the directive while granting pardon to 96 inmates from the various correctional centres across the state Friday, however implored the person persons to henceforth be law-abiding citizens, and engage in legitimate endeavours by taking advantage of the various empowerment windows being provided by his administration so as to become self-reliance.

The Governor told the inmates to use the empowerment windows to be useful to themselves and to the larger society, and announced a donation of N100, 000 to each of the pardoned inmates which, he argued, can multiply into millions through making the good use of the amount investfully.

“Because of the situation in the country, we have increase the amount normally to those that are pardoned from N50, 000 to N100, 000 each. Don’t look at the money as small, N100, 000 can multiply into a hundred million naira, so make good use of it, because some people outside that have been enjoying the freedom don’t have that amount of N100, 000”.

Senator Bala Mohammed stated, “So consider yourself a privilege. This money is not from my pocket, it is from the state coffers, it is the people of Bauchi that have extended this good gesture to you, use it correctly, please don’t terrorize them with criminality, try and live a useful”.

He said, “The granting of state pardon to persons in jail has been provided for by the Nigerian Constitution. This, I believe, is borne out of the need to make the Constitution as humanely as possible, and relief the inmates of the stress and tramor associated with being in jail”.

He further explained that it is pursuant to the foregoing that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) has given him powers as the Chief Executive of Bauchi state to pardon inmates in correctional centres in the state, as vested in section 212 (1) of the Constitution.

The Governor outlined the powers vested in him, as grant any person concern with or convicted of any offence created by any law of the state a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions; grant any person a respite either for an indefinite or specified period of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for certain offence, among others.

“I have accordingly decided to pardon a total of 96 inmates serving various jail terms at correctional centres across the state. The decision to pardon these inmates has been informed by careful review of their records by the committee on the Prerogative of Mercy, who confirm the remotefulness of the inmates of their misdeeds and determination to become good citizens who will be useful to themselves and the society”.

“I have this time around decided to pardon only convicts who are unable to pay fines, compensation or costs of prosecution, the total amount of which is N7million and has been paid by the state government to facilitate the immediate release of the convicts from the correctional centres”.

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The Governor further stated, “I have deliberately decline to pardon convicts of capital offences in order to discourage others from committing such offences. The pardon of convicts is part of our administration resolve and determination to ensure decongestion of the correctional centres across the state”.

He also assured that the state government under his leadership is committed to speedy dispensation of criminal justice, hence the administration’s resolve to approve for an upwards review of the quarterly funds disbursement as prosecution fees, meant to take care of expenses incurred while procuring witnesses.

Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed that the government has provided all departments in the Ministry of Justice with Desk-top computers, and all Sta
[24/03, 10:35] MUHAMMED KAWU: Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed that the government has provided all departments in the Ministry of Justice with Desk-top computers, and all State counsels with the Ministry have been provided with laptops computers, while law parvillion has been provided at the Ministry to facilitate access to judgments at the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

The State Commissioner of Justice, Hassan El-Yakub, SAN has earlier said that the event is in fulfillment of Governor Bala’s constitutional responsibility as a responsible leader, as it is also a clear testimony to the unwavering compassion, empathy, love and concern for the well-being of his people.

El-Yakubu said that the council on prerogative of mercy predicated its work and considered eligibility criteria for convicted inmates who are seeking for His Excellency’s pardon or mercy as old age 65 Years and above and have exhibited good character.

Other criteria, he spelt out, are Ill Health – Terminal, Severe and Contagious illnesses; Long Term Sentence/Life Imprisonment who have served Ten (10) years and above and have exhibited good character; and Persons convicted for minor offenses with option of payment of fines and compensation who have served 2/3 of their sentence and have exhibited good character.

According to him, the advisory council received a total of 106 applications from convicts who are seeking the indulgence of the Executive Governor, for mercy, pardon or clemency. After a very meticulous scrutiny and a sober consideration of the applications, the council carefully selected 96 deserving inmates and recommended them for approval.

“His Excellency did not stop there, he has equally earmarked, approved and released the sum of about N13m as palliatives and transport money for the 96 inmates who will shortly be gaining their freedom. The very lucky inmates who are all here with us today will in due course be presented for the grant of pardon”.

He gave a breakdown of the inmates by location as 17 from Bauchi Correctional Centre, 7 from Alkaleri, 10 from Azare, 6 from Bogoro, 8 from Ningi, 8 from Burra, 3 from Misau, 7 from Darazo, 3 from Jama’are, 9 from Tafawa Balewa, 5 from Toro, 4 from Gamawa, 2 from Shira, and 7 inmates are from Zaki Correctional Centre.

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