By ABBAS BAMALLI
KATSINA- Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State on Tuesday granted pardon to six convicts who were serving jail terms for various criminal offences in the state.
The governor granted the pardon following a report presented to him by Hajiya Asma’u Mukhtar, the Chairperson of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy and the Attorney General of the state.
While receiving the report, Gov. Masari said, “In order not to waste time, I will sign this today. If somebody is to be freed today, it is better he is free today than tomorrow.”
He also directed Mukhtar to liaise with his wife, Hajiya Hadiza Masari to free those with minor offences through her Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), or with the state Chief Judge, Justice Musa Danladi-Abubakar.
Earlier, Mukhtar said Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, gave the governor the powers to grant pardon or respite to convicts for offences created by the laws of Katsina State.
The attorney general and commissioner for justice noted that such powers were exercised on the recommendations of the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.
“We recommended six convicts for pardon based on various considerations. One of them, for example, is certified to have developed mental illness. So, we recommended pardon for him to enable his family to take care of him.
“We also recommended pardon for a 69-year-old, who has spent over 24 years in custody and is paralysed. There is another one that is 76-year-old, he is sick and spent 25 years in prison.
“There are other two that were sentenced to 24 years and have eight months remaining for them to conclude their sentences.
“We also recommended reduction of sentence of 11 convicts to various terms, some from death to life, some from 30 years to 25 or 15 years,” she said. (NAN)