34 convicts sentenced to death granted amnesty in Benue
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has granted amnesty to about 50 convicts serving various jail terms across the country.
Governor Ortom signed the warrant of amnesty following recommendations from the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy and is in compliance with section 212 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended.
Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Barrister Michael Gusa who briefed journalists on Thursday in his office said 34 convicts who were sentenced to death and awaiting execution from Custodial Centres in Jos and other centres were released by the Governor’s approval.
The convicts, according to the Justice Commissioner, had appealed their death sentences but the appeals failed, stressing that they now have a second chance in life.
He stated that 15 convicts, who were on death sentence, also had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, while a convict had his 21-year jail term reduced to 15 years.
Barrister Gusa explained that the Governor’s approval also followed a recommendation by officials of Jos and Sokoto Correctional Centers where the convicts served and attested to their good conduct, stressing that they had turned a new leaf.
Some of the convicts granted amnesty are Benue indigenes while others are indigenes of other states who committed the offences in Benue state and were convicted before being moved to Jos Correctional Center to serve their jail terms.
In 1991, some areas of Benue state (mostly Igala area), along with areas in Kwara State, were carved out to become part of the new Kogi State.