Or­tom grants par­don to 112 con­victs

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Hope Abah, Makurdi

Gover­nor Sa­muel Or­tom of Benue State yesterday granted amnesty to 112 con­victs in var­i­ous pris­ons across the state.

Out of the num­ber, 16 were re­leased from prison cus­tody, eight had their death sen­tences com­muted to life im­pris­on­ment while 14 had their sen­tences re­duced.

Also, 74 in­mates who were con­victed for var­i­ous of­fences with op­tions of fines but could not pay, were set free.

The gover­nor lamented that for sev­eral years, gov­ern­ment did not con­sti­tute com­mit­tee for pre­rog­a­tive of mercy.

He noted that sev­eral in­mates who should be granted mercy have been lan­guish­ing in prison and that the coun­cil which he con­sti­tuted went round all the pris­ons in Makurdi, Jos, Kaduna, Otukpo and Gboko and then made rec­om­men­da­tions.

He said the rec­om­men­da­tion showed that some of the in­mates did not re­ally com­mit the crime they were ac­cused of.

Or­tom fur­ther lamented that over 700 in­mates are await­ing tri­als while a cell meant for 20 in­mates houses over 128.

“It is in­hu­man; how will they sleep? This is not right for God’s sake,” he said.

The gover­nor also ap­proved the im­me­di­ate in­stal­la­tion of three bore­holes as re­quested by the state Comptroller of Prison, Oyigo­cho Eg­bole, in ad­di­tion to the pro­vi­sion of a Toy­ota bus for the move­ment of in­mates to court.

Re­spond­ing on be­half of the freed in­mates, Ter­he­men Mark Ugoh, thanked the gover­nor for the ges­ture.

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