The Nigerian government has granted amnesty to 2,600 prisoners as part of measures to reduce the prison population in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said this at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja.
He said about 70 inmates, who are serving various terms for crimes against the society, would be processed and released later today.
He explained that the freed inmates include prisoners that are 60years and above; convict who are sick, those serving three years and above but have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and those with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.
“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,” he added.