Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN)
No fewer than 320 applications and requests for presidential pardon and clemency have been tabled before the Federal Government, the Presidential Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy said in Abuja on Tuesday.
The PACPM committee said this when it reconvened at the Ministry of Justice in Abuja.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN), who confirmed the requests, explained that the secretariat of the committee was being inundated with myriad of requests on behalf of some convicts in custodial centres across the country.
According to him, it has become expedient for the committee to be reconvened to carry out its duty again.
The Federal Government had in 2018 constituted the PACPM on June 19, 2018 with Malami as the chairman.
The Council of State during its meeting on August 27 2020, ratified and validate the grant of the presidential pardon.
While the first phase of the exercise lasted, two inmates got presidential pardon, 39 got clemency and four ex-convicts were granted presidential pardon.
Malami said, “Since the committee submitted its report and proceeded on recess, the Federal Ministry of Justice has received numerous applications for presidential pardon and clemency.
“However, following Mr President’s directive to all stakeholders to ensure the decongestion of correctional centres in the wake of the COVID – 19 pandemic and the fact that the office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and that of the committee secretariat are being inundated with myriad of requests for the grant of presidential pardon and clemency (320 applications) on behalf of some convicts in custodial centres, it has become expedient for the committee to be reconvened.
He added, “The move is geared towards decongesting correctional centres and discharging the role constitutionally bestowed on him (President) in line with Section 175 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
“You may recall that in March, 2020, Mr President considered and approved the implementation of some urgent measures as a way of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, said the reconvening of the committee would go a long way in bringing about a drastic reduction in the population of inmates in the nation’s correctional centres.