FG grants amnesty to 2,600 prisoners over coronavirus

The Federal Government has granted amnesty to 2,600 inmates to decongest prisons across the country as part of measures to combat spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made this known on Thursday while speaking at a conference at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja.

According to him, the new arrangement would see the processing and consequent release of about 70 inmates undergoing jail terms for various crimes starting late Thursday.

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The minister further explained that inmates expected to benefit from the amnesty include those that are 60years and above; those suffering from ill-health likely to terminate in death; convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.

His words: “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.”

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