Governor Sanwo-Olu Frees 246 Inmates, Converts 39 Death Sentences in Justice Reform Move

by David Okoye

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has granted clemency to 246 inmates and commuted the death sentences of 39 individuals to life imprisonment. The decision, enacted through a release order signed on December 20, aligns with the governor’s commitment to alleviate congestion in correctional facilities as part of broader justice sector reforms.

The release, announced by the state attorney-general for justice, Lawal Pedro, is based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy. Governor Sanwo-Olu’s action also considers the approaching New Year celebration.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu signing a document 687x400 1

The Advisory Council meticulously reviewed applications, taking into account information from correctional authorities, the nature of offenses, period of incarceration, age, health, and behavioral conduct of the inmates. This thorough process adhered to guidelines applicable under Section 212 (1) (2) of the 1999 Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria (amended).

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s decision reflects a broader commitment to justice sector reforms, emphasizing the need to address the issue of prison congestion. The move underscores the administration’s dedication to ensuring fairness, mercy, and a humane approach in the criminal justice system.

This exercise is not only in compliance with constitutional provisions but also demonstrates the administration’s recognition of the importance of considering individual circumstances and promoting rehabilitation over severe punitive measures. Governor Sanwo-Olu’s approach emphasizes a balance between justice and compassion, aiming to create a system that respects human rights while maintaining public safety.

In conclusion, the governor’s proactive steps to release inmates and commute death sentences represent a significant stride towards a more equitable and compassionate justice system, fostering a society where the principles of mercy and fairness are paramount.


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