Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, says his principal, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), gains nothing if former governors of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye; and Taraba State, Jolly Nyame; die in jail.
Adesina spoke on Friday on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme monitored by our correspondent.
According to him, the National Council of State endorsed the pardon of the former governors as well as 157 other convicts following the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.
The presidential aide specifically said Nyame and Dariye were released on the grounds of health and age.
The two former governors were jailed for stealing N2.7bn in total and are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress. Many civil society organisations had censured the President and noted that the pardon of Dariye and Nyame would encourage corruption.
But speaking on Friday, Adesina defended his principal saying, “I have not seen how that pardon depreciates the war against corruption.”
He added, “There is a Prerogative Of Mercy committee which will sit and look at presentations made to it, people who have applied to be pardoned…
“The reasons adduced for those two former governors were age and severe ill health. What does anybody gain if eventually, they die in prison? The two of them were said to be in very bad shape.
“The reasons for the pardon were age and health; the government gains nothing if those former governors die.”