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?”