The panel that recommended the pardons of two ex-governors, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, also recommended the pardons of 24 other convicts who were still serving their jail terms for various offences, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
Another 86 people who had finished serving their jail terms were also recommended for pardons by the panel, headed by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. One of the 86 people got a posthumous presidential pardon.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how President Buhari approved the pardons of Messrs Dariye and Nyame, who had been convicted of stealing public funds when they served as governors.
Both men were sentenced to 14 years each and had only served about three years of their jail terms, the presidential advisory committee on the prerogative of mercy said in its final report exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.
According to the presidential committee, Mr Dariye, 63, who governed Plateau State from 1999 to 2007 was recommended for pardon “on grounds of life threatening ill health and age.”
Mr Nyame, 66, who governed Taraba from 1999 to 2007 was recommended for pardon “on grounds of ill health and age.”
Their pardon was condemned by many Nigerians and human rights groups who argued that such action only encourages corruption by public officeholders.
“Clearly, the Dariye/Nyame pardon dramatises the fact that regimes upbraid the venality of their predecessors, only for them to succumb to the same set of vices when in office,” PREMIUM TIMES wrote in an editorial condemning the version.
A rights group, SERAP, has since sued President Buhari and Mr Malami and asked that the pardon be reversed.
Apart from the total of 112 people recommended for pardon, the panel also recommended clemency for 27 people. It also recommended reduced sentences for 13 people who were still serving their jail terms. Another 10 people who were on death row were recommended for reduced punishment to life imprisonment.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that of the total 162 people for whom the panel recommended some form of pardon or sentence reduction, the council of state only rejected that of three people. One of the three was Francis Atuche, the former Bank PHB boss, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison for stealing bank funds.
Mr Atuche was “recommended for clemency on grounds of life threatening ill health” but the recommendation was rejected by the council and President Buhari, this newspaper learnt.
Do you want to invest in real estate but don’t know how visit Estate Alert today http://estatealert.net/