Ortom grants pardon to 112 convicts
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.