Bello Matawalle | Bello Matawallen-Maradun

The governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, on Friday, granted amnesty to 150 inmates at the Gusau Maximum Security Prison.

The governor’s media aide, Yusuf Idris, in a statement to newsmen said Mr Matawalle made the “kind gesture” during a visit to the prison. He said it was to enable the prisoners to celebrate Sallah with their loved ones at home.

The beneficiaries include five condemned to death, five serving life sentences and nine nursing mothers.

Among them also are 30 serving various jail terms, 60 awaiting trials and 41 who benefitted on special consideration, including for memorising the Holy Quran.

Prisoners with deformity, the aged and those who spent more than 20 years in jail were also freed, the statement added.

The statement further urged the freed inmates to consider the amnesty as a promise binding on them against doing anything that could lead them back to prison.

The governor said their trials and experiences should serve as a lesson to reform themselves and to henceforth be of good conduct.

“Governor Matawalle further advised them to reform and be people of good conduct in order to assist his administration in its efforts to restore total peace in the state.

“The governor also donated five cows,100 bags of rice, five rams, drugs and other food ingredients to the remaining inmates to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir,” the statement added.

The statement quoted the Comptroller of Prisons in the state, Sani Potiskum, as remarking that the prison has a capacity for accommodating 1,664 inmates and that only 649 people are currently in the prison.

There are some inmates who have spent between 15 and 25 years without trial, the prison boss said.

Also at the event, representative of the State Chief Judge, Justice Mukhtar Yushau, said granting amnesty to the inmates is a prerogative which Governor Matawalle has exercised.

He called on the released inmates to make good use of the opportunity given to them by the governor by staying away from trouble.

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