Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has pardoned 50 inmates serving in various Correctional Service across in the state.
The governor also reduced the terms of some of the inmates while also commuting some who were sentenced to death to life imprisonment.
The governor said the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled extraordinary steps by nations and territories to slow or halt its spread.
He noted that one of such steps is the deployment of applicable mechanisms in the administration of criminal justice system, including the prerogative of mercy.
“In order to curtail or totally avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the Nigerian Correctional Services facilities in our state and across the country the administration is embarking on this exercise once again to reduce the number of inmates in custody.
“This step has become imperative to reduce overcrowding in our Correctional Services in compliance with the social and physical distancing policies, which are the new paradigms in the era of COVID-19.
He said the gesture took cognisance of the protocols of prevention for the pandemic and thus broadens the scope of beneficiaries.
“It also necessitates the exercise of our prerogative of mercy to a larger group of internees than usual. In all cases, we took scrupulous steps to make sure that only persons who meet the lawful criteria are considered.