Jonathan confirms pardon for Alamieyeseigha, says, “I owe no one apology”

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has confirmed the granting of presidential pardon to a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, and a few other ex-convicts.

PREMIUM TIMES had broken the strory of the pardon while the meeting was underway Tuesday morning.

We also reported details of the proceedings minutes after the meeting ended.

Presidential spokespersons had gone underground for most of yesterday in what appeared a ploy to dodge media enquiry on the controversial pardon of a man who stole his people blind while governor.

But Mr. Jonathan, speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Doyin Okupe, has now confirmed our report.

He said he has no apology for his action.

Mr. Okupe spoke on Channels TV breakfast show, Sunrise.

“That is an action that has been taken by the National Council of States and I have no apology for that.” Mr. Jonathan said. “We must begin to respect and honour our institutions. I don’t need to defend the action that has been taken.”

When reminded that the action had created the impression that the government was not serious about the war against corruption, Mr. Jonathan said, “It is not all decisions parents take that are palatable for their kids. But with time they will realize that their parents are right.”

He said pardoning Mr. Alamieyeseigha was in order as the former Bayelsa governor  had suffered enough.

“A man was deposed. He was hounded, tried and jailed. What is wrong with giving pardon to a remorseful sinner?

“How come granting pardon to him has become an aberration? Is it because he is from Bayelsa? Is it from he is from South-South? Is it because he is connected to Mr. President?”


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  • The president heart seem to be full of sentiment. Small issue he will be asking questions on whether its becouse he is from south-south or becouse he is from Bayelsa. The president is not a national leader, else he would not be having grudge for other sections of the country.

    • Samuel Agwuna

      Was it Mr President or Dr Doyin Okupe that made the statement?

      • Mai gaskiya

        Doyin spoke on his behalf

        • elite1

          nigeria behold your leader.

      • kandi

        you no go school? if yes then, why you dey argue with people wey go school? what is the meaning of presidentials spokesman? mumu dats y na inside creek you go die.

        • Kenechukwu

          See what i was talking about, we ought to be brothers but people like you are just being impossible and creating enmity where unnecessary. You claim to have intelligence but you couldn’t even comport yourself in a forum like this. Shame on the shams that we have in this great Nation.

    • Mr President has even reduced from the south-south president to Bayelsa president. Take a closer look.
      This is that same person that cried when PDP governors attempted denying him the PDP nomination in 2011

  • Samuel Agwuna

    Shame to all those who want amnesty granted to Boko Haram whose suicide attacks on places of worship and gun attacks on public facilities have sent thousands to their graves and maimed thousands more, and yet seethe with rage at the thought of DSP Alameseghia being granted pardon, forgetting thatbhe was instrumental in bringing peace to the Niger Delta region that ensures the flow of oil and gas that today sustains Nigeria

    • Nigerian

      Samuel, commentators like u always creat leakages/diversions in an otherwise healthy debate/argument. What brought book haram issue here? Dumbo has done one of his dumb acts & u are busy your lousy ethnic arguments

    • Sigh!! trying to catch my breath while reading this. Use some punctuations mate. Now, how is the theft of public financies related to Boko Haram? Why don’t you speak about the merit or otherwise of granting state pardon to a pundit without giving it some political colouration? OK, DSP was instrumental in bringing peace to Niger-Delta and as such the state should forgive his fraudulent past and the disgrace he brought to the nation by disguising as a woman? Is that your argument?

  • Mr Inza…dave_miller4g@hotmai

    This doyin okupe man and the so called mr president are all criminals…Imagine what he is say that the president has no apology for his action.I pity Nigeria….

  • Samuel Agwuna, look at your long neck and your cheap shirt…poverty manifests in your being… the theft of state funds youre extolling —HOW MUCH BILLIONS HAVE TOUCHED YOUR HAND? NONE! But you want to praise criminals?

  • ademide ozigi

    thats a democratic leader talking,indeed he has no apologies for anybody since Aso Rock is his papa house now,time will tell,all corrupt souls will be disgraced in due time,repented sinner,ex formal convicts,olohun ju yin lo.

    • blogNaija

      let Pres. Goodluck also go to UK and grant pardon to Chief IBORI his partner too; he does not give a damn anyway. shame on this disgraceful PhD illiterate creating chaos for tomorrow.

  • MUHAMMAD ALBABA KATSINA

    NO Goodluck. IT IS NOT BECAUSE”… Alamieyseigha had suffered enough, hounded, tried and jailed, OR is a remorseful sinner, nor because he is from Bayelsa, South-South, or connected to you” HOWEVER, IT IS AN ABERRATION TO PARDON A CONVICTED THIEVING AND CORRUPT EX-GOVERNOR!

  • MUHAMMAD ALBABA KATSINA

    GOODLUCK – YOU OWE NIGERIA AND THE WORLD APOLOGIES FOR PARDONING A CONVICTED THIEVING EX-GOVERNOR, NO MATTER HIS SUFFERING OR REMORSEFULNESS.
    WE MAY AS WELL CLOSE THE PRISONS AND COURTS, CHANGE OUR LAWS AND RULES, AND ALLOW EVERYONE TO DO AS THEY LIKE.

  • Bill Hansen

    For the President to use such incredibly patronizing language as to suggest that he is the parent and the rest of Nigeria is a child who doesn’t understand what’s good for them, is appalling and disgusting. I would also point out that language makes a difference. Goodluck did not pardon “ex-convicts” he pardoned “convicts”. The reason why the English language has two different words here is because each has different meetings. After their pardons they will be ex-convicts….unless, of course, Goodluck expunges the entire conviction in the first place in which case they will not even be “ex-convicts”.

    • Thank you so much for this. Very enlightening and useful.

  • We can now see how Nigerians are condemning the rot in our political system
    of this Nation. This rot and iniquities are merely attributable to our evil law
    called ”Nigerian Constitution’. It is on account of this constitution that Mr
    President deemed it fit to exercise his constitutional power to grant pardon to
    any ex-convict. It is also on the basis of our so-called faulty constitution
    that Judge ‘Talba’, who presided over court ruling that gave soft landing to a
    pension thief a couple of weeks ago, delievered his/her judgement by merely
    sentencing him to two years in prison, or paying a fine of 750,000 Naira.

    Therefore, we can see that our faultly-drafted constitution woefully failed to
    take into consideration the issue of morality, whatsoever, attachable to its
    application. In as much as our constitution supports a move or action, whether
    morally wrong or right, then it is welcome and legally justifiable for
    application. This is bound to happen in a country where virtually every leader
    has corruption tendency running in their veins as blood run freely therein.
    They will only draft and support any law that will most suit their selfish
    interests. They are devils in human form! Greedy hypocrites and
    self-centered/corrupt saboteurs.

    Why did Mr President not show similar passion and sentiment to granting state
    pardons to a large number of petty ex-convicts abound all over the Nation?
    Those who still manage to carry about the stigma of being seen as ex-convicts.
    Our leaders are not rightly-guided. That is why you will hear a governor is
    donating 2 SUVs to a multi-millionaire like 2Face and wife in order to show-off
    and wrongly impress others.

    Not until when we go back to the divine commandments of our Creator who Knows
    best what is good for us as a human to achieve success, we may not cease to
    continue witnessing all of these iniquities. Assuming one of two hands of
    Alamieyeisegha and co. had been cut-off, how would you expect them to be
    romancing freely with government to lobby for state pardons? If an end-user of
    a product should neglect the manual attached by the manufacturer of a new
    product, not only that he may not know how best to operate/use such product, but also can even
    destroy the product on account of not being attentive to the instuctions in the
    manual. Such is the God’s law to humanity.

  • deri

    U.S. presidents have wielded the power to issue pardons since it was granted to them in 1789 by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution. The number of pardons issued by a president has varied considerably. President George Washington issued 16 pardons between 1789 and 1797. Franklin D. Roosevelt granted the most— a jaw dropping 3,687 pardons. Roosevelt, however, is the only president to serve three terms—12 years—in office.Two presidents did not grant any pardons during their administrations, William H. Harrison and James Garfield. Both men died soon after they became president, one month in the case of Harrison, who died of pneumonia, and six months in the case of Garfield, who was assassinated. Sadly its only in Nigeria that we turn such acts into regional wars-Our jail houses are meant for governors from the SS-but not the oil blocks-how many governors in Nigeria were given the Alams treatment-name just one of them! Old Boy, let the heavens fall over the pardon granted Alams-You hail boko haram when they spill the blood of the innocent! But abuse those whose resources have been keeping the nation state of Nigeria afloat-Awo was also granted pardon-regardless-pardon is pardon

  • deri

    U.S. presidents have wielded the power to issue pardons since it was granted to them in 1789 by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution. The number of pardons issued by a president has varied considerably. President George Washington issued 16 pardons between 1789 and 1797. Franklin D. Roosevelt granted the most— a jaw dropping 3,687 pardons. Roosevelt, however, is the only president to serve three terms—12 years—in office.Two presidents did not grant any pardons during their administrations, William H. Harrison and James Garfield. Both men died soon after they became president, one month in the case of Harrison, who died of pneumonia, and six months in the case of Garfield, who was assassinated. Sadly its only in Nigeria that we turn such acts into regional wars-Our jail houses are meant for governors from the SS-but not the oil blocks-how many governors in Nigeria were given the Alams treatment-name just one of them! Old Boy, let the heavens fall over the pardon granted Alams-You hail boko haram when they spill the blood of the innocent! But abuse those whose resources have been keeping the nation state of Nigeria afloat-Awo was also granted pardon

    • Mopa Raymond

      I am tired of this ‘those whose resources have been keeping the nation state of Nigeria afloat’ so what. Is that why a criminal should be granted pardon after stealing billions! What message are you passing to our youth? that stealing is ok? how may common people has been granted pardon by the president? is pardon meant for only the rich??? i am surprised at your comments!!! Why didn’t he grant Al Mustapha pardon? Lets stop been sentimental about this! What GEJ has done is wrong and lets all acknowledge it and not support him becuise we get chrumps that fall from bis table!!!

    • Enemona

      To hell with you resources, countries like Sweden have no resources but are doing quite well. You can take it and shove it. Your resource is a curse on us all.

  • Afam

    This decision was not taking by GEJ alone but the entire former and present leaders both the 36 state governors,why all these name callings ?If ALAMS was not there all of you will praise him and some will even ask for Hamza Almustafa to be included…We should do away with this perception of ex-convict,more than half of USA celebs and prominent individuals are ex-convicts but it does not make them to discriminate against them…My candid opinion.

    • Trying to hinge this pardon on council of state is the dumbest of all arguments. Let’s assume that the council of state have really recommended that an ex-convict, interpol wanted criminal, should be pardon, is it compulsory for Jonathan to comply? CoS is just an advisory body and the president is under no obligation to comply with their submissions.

    • Ndidi

      Hi Afam – we wouldn’t mind if Nigeria was as well developed as the USA that you mention. Here the masses have no electricity, no proper medical care, polio is still around etc, all due to corruption. And many have died due to lack of basic necessities due to corruption by our rulers. You may think this is not important, but to those of us who care about the poor, the weak it matters. If GEJ wants to pardon such a person whom he admires (this says much about the type of person GEJ is if he admires the corrupt), the least he should do is explain to us why such a decision was made.

      • kandi

        NDIDI…… you supported no amnesty for boko haram. soi dont expect you to complain about pardoning an ex convict. If you really care about the poor, you wouldnt have supported no amnesty for boko haram. All sane muslim is against boko haram. the sultan made the call for amnesty because of the poor people suffering in borno. the elites have relocated to Abuja. i have respect for your comments on leadership news paper. But i was suprise to see that your comments were some how bias. Granting amnesty to boko haram is more important than allowing tompolo to control our maritime security. and more important than pardoning an ex convict like Alams.

        • kenechukwu

          Mr. Kandi, i believe there are prerequisites for amnesty, a faceless sect cannot seek for amnesty. Peace is what is needed in Nigeria today and truth be told all the Northern Leaders are not helping issues, they ought to be the intermediary between the dreaded sect and the FG.

          Personally i believe if pardoning the BH is what will give us the peace we need then it is worth trying, but on a condition that BH will come clean with what they are fighting for and terms of the pardon will be sorted out.

          And we set ourselves back when we raise and treat national issues as if it is a regional thing, we all are affected by the menace that is posed by BH, but we all want peace and if they too want that they can come out and i bet you peace will reign.

          • kandi

            Mr Kenechukwu, point of correction pls. Northern PDP criminals and their friends are responsible for all the crises going on. President Jonathan knows them.

            Dont tell me the president does not have any intelligent report on sponsors of boko haram. Dont tell me there is faceless group in nigeria. PDP leaders from all part of Nigeria are our problem.

            i am not a card carrying member of any political party. but PDP members from 1999 to date are the causes of all the crises in Nigeria. Goodluck Jonathan knows that. He has more information about Boko Haram more than me and you.

            All this stupidity of Boko Haram, Kidnaping, armed robbery, 419, etc….. will come to pass. History will judge all of us.

          • Kenechukwu

            Believe me or leave it , it is neither a PDP member that is fermenting
            all this crises rather it is the so-called opposition. You guess that
            GEJ knows all about the faceless sect BH, it might be right or wrong,
            but let me tell you one fact, the fact is that the way the presidency
            handles the BH menace determines how volatile this nation becomes in
            years to come.
            Am neither a card carrying member of any political
            party rather am a political analyst that distinguish the odds and make a
            stand.

          • kandi

            Who are the so-called opposition? are you in this world when two serving PDP senators where arrested? most of the elites killed by boko haram in Borno state were all from opposition party. we are still waiting to see any opposition leader that is sponsoring boko haram to be arrested.

            As a political analyst, you should do your research well and stop being bias please.

            An average Nigerian knows what is going on in Nigeria. How do you know that its the work of the opposition? Then i suggest you should contact JTF immediately and pass the information to them. it seems all the security men in nigeria dont know its the opposition behind boko haram. it is only mr Kenechukwu that knows.

            if you want me to believe they know, then why cant they arrest them? or is the presidents power concentrated on pardoning criminals?

            We are wise enough. No one will play with our intelligence anymore.

            When they want to remove subsidy, they all shouted its because of the cabals. at the end of the day who were the so called cabals arrested? were they not all sons of PDP cheiftains? were is the opposition?

            Salisu Buhari, IBB, Obasanjo, Atiku, Anenih, Olabode George, Alameiseyiah, ayo fayose, Dariye, Maina, peter odili, james ibori, etc………were all this from opposition parties?

            Wy cant we face reality for goodness sake? what are you analysing? are you not in Nigeria?

          • Kenechukwu

            You are not really as wise as you claim.

          • kandi

            Yes Sir. I am not wise because i cannot see the Nigeria of Kenechukwu moving forward. Bombing, kidnaping, armed robbery, 419, No good roads, no quality education, stealing billions of naira everyday, pardoning criminals and homosexuals, increase in petrol price, ruben abati and okupe told us the first lady is in good health condition and she later said she was dead for 8 days, etc…………are the definition of a country moving forward according to Mr Kenechukwu.

          • Kenechukwu

            If you are privy to the information that I have you will know what is really happening. Point of correction this is a democratic dispensation and not a military junta, there are due processes to be followed.
            Nobody is playing with your intelligence rather you areblindfolded by what I cannot really decipher now.
            The Nigeria that I am in is a Nigeria that is moving forward
            but is being pulled apart by the so called campaigners of good governance.
            What is killing all of us is tribalism and lack of foresight, you have to imagine what it is like when you are the President that inherited all the rot and decay perpetrated by predecessors and still they won’t allow you to concentrate and cleanse the rot.
            Am not forcing you to accept my opinion but I solidly stand on my words that we Nigerians are the cause of our predicaments and we can be the solution to it.
            I stand to be corrected but can all of the Northern political big shots come and publicly denounce their involvement in the BH menace?
            The reality is that we attach sentiments and tribalism to every affair that we are dealing with, we ought to be united against the enemies of the Nation and the fight is not against the government of the day rather it is against the people that don’t want the unity and progress of this Nation.

      • Deri

        same old excuses-Nigeria is 52 yrs old–she gained her freedom from the brits long b4 president Jonathan was born! So why marry the trial of the national thieves from the fulani north to the minority rogues we have in the SS-u have stolen over 55 trillion Naira from the oil wells in the SS-is that not enough to provide us with light, water, and health facilities? Was Jonathan the first president of Nigeria? Bring out the 31 governors ribadu said stole us blind-and leave the SS alone-our jails are not meant 4 the SS alone-the law says-the council of state must give her nod to it-and they did period-Alams is a free man

        • Enemona

          What sort of thinking, how much of the 55 trillion went to the south-south, is it not enough to provide you with all the things you mentioned. How did your leaders use it? Why don’t you think more deeply and see who the real enemies are…….

          • Sasha Pink

            Since our democratic dispensations many basic social amenities were provided for the masses but often they were hijacked by some elements that claims to canvass for the masses. Nigerians have this siddon look attitude towards everything, if we can channel all the energy that we spend spiting the Presidency to putting forward valuable information that will contribute to the enhancement of our communities.
            The fight against corruption is not a one man job neither is it a fight for one day, we all need to put our hands on deck and salvage our nation from ourselves.

            Our veins are flowing with the milk of regionalism and not Nationhood and unity and that is our greatest undoing. If we can set aside the hates and dislikes and then be patriotic and supportive towards our nation i bet you things will change.

    • Omo Odua

      Than why always cast aspersion on IBB? All the decision he took were taken by the Armed Forces Ruling Council. While, whatever, GEJ is the chairman of Council of States, thus he set the agenda of its meeting. If he does not present the pardon as an agenda to the council it won’t even be discuss.

    • Enemona

      Yeah go on, advocate of ex-convicts.

      • Agatha Ajayi

        Afam is right because he didn’t single-handedly made the decision neither did he lobby for it to happen, the decision was made unanimously. We are just attaching ethnic sentiments to the pardoning story, Alamieyseigha have suffered a lot as Mr President rightly said and i bet by now he has learned his lessons by now.

        • Emmy

          Poor reasoning from you,what of all the criminals in kirikiri,haven’t they suffered enough?Mr president should also pardon all of them cos their cases are even more pardonable than that of Alams and co..What a poor Governance

    • Emeka

      Bros na wao for u,na people like u dey support evil in this country all u can know is that America did grant pardon to criminals but u cannot see the level of developement they have achieved poor u

  • Glory

    The president himself made the statement. It is typical of his person, he never give “a damm” to anything. Anyway we shall all continue to sidon look, that was how some of us sidon look Gen Sani Abacha until ….

  • Nigerians are watching. There would come a time when you’ll apologise for all these misdeeds.

  • wanogodie

    yes, its because Alams is from bayelsa and perhaps there wasnt anybody from Ogun and Edo states in the so called council meeting to consider mrs Ibru and Bode. I have not seen Alams more remorseful than the two. He is only closer to Aso than other criminals.Case closed.

  • Gena Lubem

    I have followed closely all the arguments going on over this subject matter on this platform. It looks as if some people are unnecessarily angry with the system for reasons i cannot comprehend. Whether Nigerians like it or not, Mr President, after due consultation with the council of state, has the constitutional powers to grant pardon to anyone they deem fit.
    It is therefore a complete and absolute waste of time for some infamous people who do not even know how chapters the Nigerian constitution has to start debating over a subject matter they know little of nothing about.
    All over the world, such pardon do take place. In fact in the US there is an attorney in charge of this. Or is someone telling me that, this is the very first time in the history of the world that someone has been given a state pardon?
    Some people tend to forget too soon what goes around in the country. In the days of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Salisu Buhari, the man who claimed to have a university certificate fromthe University of Toronto in Canada was disgraced out of the office of the Speaker of the House of Reps. How many years does it take the administration to grant him state pardon? Just about 10 months……

    • Enemona

      Such powers of pardon are there but how you use it is a sign of your integrity. This is how Jona has decided to use it, fine but we understand better now. He chose to use this power this way and that speaks a lot about his integrity.

  • Kilba

    APC must reverse these wrongs of our dumb GEJ. The time will come.
    State pardons are not for convicted public fund thieves, even it they regret.
    Pardons of these nature are for those unfairly incarcerated by the unjust system.
    GEJ is too clueless to read between the lines. GEJ’s PhD is questionable??????

  • deri

    U.S. presidents have wielded the power to issue pardons since it was granted to them in 1789 by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution. The number of pardons issued by a president has varied considerably. President George Washington issued 16 pardons between 1789 and 1797. Franklin D. Roosevelt granted the most— a jaw dropping 3,687 pardons. Roosevelt, however, is the only president to serve three terms—12 years—in office.Two presidents did not grant any pardons during their administrations, William H. Harrison and James Garfield. Both men died soon after they became president, one month in the case of Harrison, who died of pneumonia, and six months in the case of Garfield, who was assassinated. Sadly its only in Nigeria that we turn such acts into regional wars-Our jail houses are meant for governors from the SS-but not the oil blocks-how many governors in Nigeria were given the Alams treatment-name just one of them! Old Boy, let the heavens fall over the pardon granted Alams-You hail boko haram when they spill the blood of the innocent! But abuse those whose resources have been keeping the nation state of Nigeria afloat-Awo was also granted pardon

  • simonibekwe

    Fellow Nigerians! calm down, stop dissipating your energies for a problem we can easily rectify. Mr. Jonathan is busy making the incoming APC administration look holy and saintly because no incoming government who wants the citizenry and international community to take it seriously will live with this travesties being created by Mr. Jonathan. This government is confused and deficient in moral character and other noble virtues that makes one proud of his country. The honest question we should be asking is ” how did we find our-self in this blinding binge”and “how do we extricate our-self from this abyss of moral turpitude”.

  • I believe this man called Alamieyeseigha as leant his own lesson why in the prison so
    if the president and the council of state as granted pardon they know why he
    was granted that pardon, please Nigerian’s should let go and move on to make Nigeria a great country.

  • I come to understand this word corruption can be defined only when people don’t benefit from it that is when it’s corruption but as long as they benefit from it is not corruption. Why I am saying this is because granting pardon to someone is not a corrupt act my people.

  • The state pardon been granted to the former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha to me is needed,because he has been of good to Nigerians as a whole because he helped regain peace in the Niger-Delta region,Let’s not forget that forgiveness of sins is a divine privilege that is accorded to us human begins.

  • The pardon granted to Alamieyeseigha and others was not a one man decision been made by the President alone, The decision was made by the Council of States which is made up of the President,His vice, Fromer heads of states,the Senate President and His deputy, The speaker of the house and also His deputy were the once who took the decisions together. This is not the first time any head of state will be give any one a state pardon, it has been part of our history. I know the then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon pardoned the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo,and also Alhaji Shehu Shagari recalled the late Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu from exile, and released Mrs Helen Gomwalk and Capt.Peter Temlong from jail..