Anambra State Government has granted approval for reprieve to seven prison inmates from Anambra and Enugu Prison Commands as part of 2018 Independence celebrations.
The prisoners are Chukwunwike Esmai from Ohita, Ogbaru, Anambra State; Chijioke Nweke from Awkuzu, Anambra; Chukwudi Okoye from Izzi, Ebonyi State and Orabusirieze Chikadibia, Enugu–Otu, Aguleri, Anambra State.
Others are Asapuo Chinecherem from Abba, Dunukofia (Anambra); Ejike Chigozie from Aguleri (Anambra) and Chijioke Amazu Ifite, Orumba North, (Anambra).
A memorandum signed by Anambra State Attorney-General and Chairman, State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Mrs Uju Nwogu, gave guidelines for which they were considered for reprieve.
“The Executive Secretary for the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, wrote to the Controllers of Prisons in Enugu and Anambra States.
“To forward to the council, the list of qualified convicts, who fall within the stipulated guidelines.
“Prisoners, who are convicts suffering from serious ill-health, likely to result in death as well as those serving sentences of three years and above with six months left to serve out their terms,” the memorandum said.
“It also stipulates convicts, who have attained 60 years and above; those serving life sentences with good records.
“It also includes, long term prisoners, who have served for 10 years and above and prisoners, who are young persons of 16 and below.
“The controllers of the prisons sent lists containing the names of inmates within their jurisdiction and upon receipt, the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy embarked on prison visits.
“The inmates were interviewed and the sick examined by the Council’s doctor, Dr S.I. Akpati,” the memorandum said.
The council, then, considered cases within Anambra State Command comprising Awka, Aguata, Nnewi and Onitsha Prisons.
“They forwarded to us a list, totalling 197 names of convicts. From the list, six convicts were considered and recommended for reprieve.
“They comprise, five from Onitsha Prison and one from Awka Prison,” the memorandum said.
From Enugu State Prison Command comprising Oji-River, Ibito-Olo, Nsukka, Enugu and Abakaliki Prisons, 39 names were considered.
“The Command forwarded to the council a list totalling 39 names of convicts. From the list, only one person was considered for reprieve and he is Chijioke Amazu,” it said.
The council, then, pleaded with Gov. Obiano “to graciously approve the recommendation”.
The approval was given on Oct. 20.