The Lagos State Government has ordered the immediate freedom of 14 inmates while 20 who were sentenced to death were pardoned.

According to Adeniji Kazeem, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, those released have been imprisoned for over 20 years and have been studied by a council set up by the state government.

While handing over the release notes to the prison authorities, Kazeem said the development was hinged on the constitutional power of the Governor to pardon inmates.

He explained that the Governor set up an advisory council to consider cases of the inmates.

Kazeem said: “Prerogative of Mercy is a right recognised under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

“Section 212(2) of the Constitution provides that the powers conferred on the Governor under Section 212(1) shall be exercised by him after consultation with the Advisory Council of the State on the Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the Law of the State.”

The commissioner added that those pardoned “have been reformed and ready for reintegration into the society”. He also urged the pardoned inmates to be of good conduct.

Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, Chairman of the Council, stated that the move was a “way of decongesting the prison”.

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