As part of its mandate to recommend inmates serving jail terms in various prison formations for amnesty, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, on Friday visited the Jos Prison.
Mr. Williams Aloh, the Vice Chairman of the committee said the rationale for the visit was to basically recommend prisoners serving their jail terms in the prison for amnesty.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that on Aug. 28, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) inaugurated the committee.
According to Aloh, the committee would only consider inmates convicted over federal offences.
“Section 175 of the 1999 constitution, as amended clearly gives the president the powers to consider and pardon inmates based on the recommendations of this committee.
“As a president who stands for justice and fairness, he has decided to constitute this committee to go round all prison formations and recommend inmates to be granted amnesty.
“We do not have the power to grant pardon to any inmate; ours is to just recommend to the president based on the available information.
“So, the committee is here in Jos Prison to carry out its assignment,” he said.
Speaking during the visit, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, the Chief Judge of Plateau urged the committee to include in its recommendations, the need for government to address unemployment in the country.
Dakwak said high rate of unemployment, particularly among the youths had largely contributed to making them available for various crimes.
He also stressed the need for government to check the importation of hard drugs into the country, so as to minimise incidences of crimes being committed under their influence.
In his welcome address, Mr Daniel Odharo, the Controller of Prisons, Plateau Command, said the command had 1, 701 inmates spread across the eight prison formations under it.
He explained that the Jos Prison was among the five under the grade “A” prisons in the country.