The Nigerian Correctional Service said it is still awaiting correspondence from the Ministry of Justice to release a former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye; a former Taraba State Governor, Jolly Nyame, and 157 other convicts granted presidential pardon.
The spokesperson for the Correctional Service, Abubakar Umar, said, “Why they have not been released is because we are still waiting for correspondence from the Ministry of Justice. The moment we get that, we will effect their release. It is a presidential pardon, no doubt, but there must be a document to back their release. They can’t be released on pronouncement alone.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the ministry, through the media aide of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Umar Gwandu, were not successful. He didn’t pick up several calls to his line and had yet to respond to a text message sent to him on the matter.
The Council of State led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had on April 14 approved the pardon of the convicts, a decision which generated outcries.
Nyame is serving a 12-year jail sentence for diverting N1.64 billion during his tenure as governor of Taraba, while Dariye is serving 10 years’ imprisonment for N1.126 billion fraud.
But while justifying the clemency, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, had said it would have been insensitive for the President not to pardon the duo, saying that they had life-threatening illnesses.
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