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COVID-19: Nigerian govt grants amnesty to 2,600 prisoners

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tiamin rice

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday said amnesty has been granted to no fewer than 2,600 inmates as part of measures to decongest prison facilities against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister disclosed this at an ongoing press conference at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja.

According to him, about 70 inmates, who are serving various terms for crimes against the society, would be processed and released later today.

Mr Aregbesola added that the affected inmates include inmates that are 60years and above; those suffering from ill-health likely to terminate in death.

Others are convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.

He said: “In a symbolic gesture of the amnesty given to the 2,600 inmates across Nigeria, 41 Federal inmates and 29 FCT inmates making a total of 70 inmates who met the above criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja.

“This amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on.

“The Governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction most of the inmates were incarcerated will complete the exercise in line with the federal principle.”

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