The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has debunked a report that Maryam Sanda, a murder convict, was granted presidential pardon last week alongside some 70 other inmates at the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje.
The NCoS’s spokesperson, Austin Njoku, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, described the report as “ fake, very unrealistic and an attempt to rubbish the good intention of the President towards decongesting the custodial centres.”
“The attention of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has been drawn to the news making the rounds that Maryam Sanda was granted presidential pardon last week Thursday April 9th, 2020 alongside some 70 other inmates at the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 9, granted a presidential pardon to 2,600 inmates nationwide.
The government had announced pardons aimed at decongesting correctional centres across the country amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Still in custody’
But in the statement on Thursday Mr Njoku said, Mrs Sanda was not part of those pardoned as she did not meet any of the requirements for the release.
“The Service wants to categorically state that the news is fake and very unrealistic and an attempt to rubbish the good intention of the President towards decongesting the custodial centres.”
The official added that, “while addressing the press conference last week, the Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola clearly stated the categories of inmates qualified for the amnesty includes: Convicts who are Sixty (60) years and above, Convicts serving 3 years and above with less than 6 months to serve, Inmates with ill-health likely to terminate in death, Inmates with mental ill-health, Inmates with option of fine not exceeding N50,000 with no pending case, Convicted pregnant women, Convicted women with child, Convicted inmates with minor offences and Convicted inmates who spent 75% of their sentence after remission.”
According to the NCoS spokesperson, “it obvious that Maryam Sanda did not meet any of the above mentioned requirements and therefore did not benefit from the presidential pardon/clemency.
“We further want to assure the public that Maryam Sanda is in our custody and will remain as such.
“The Controller General of Corrections Ja’afaru Ahmed wishes to assure the public that the Service rumour ensures the safety and humane containment of the inmates in our custody and therefore advice the public to discountenance the rumour that Maryam Sanda benefited from the presidential pardon,” the statement added.
Mrs Sanda was, convicted by a Federal Capital Territory(FCT) High Court, over the murder of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, on January 27.
Meanwhile, she has appealed the judgment, where she argued the judgement of the trial court was a complete “miscarriage of justice.”
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