Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has granted an unconditional pardon to 33 convicts in a bid to decongest correctional centres in the state due to the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Mr. Cletus Ofoke, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice made this known to newsmen, on Friday, stating that the convicts were drawn from the Abakaliki and Afikpo custodial centres.
He said “The 33 convicts were serving various jail terms at the custodial centres and the pardon is in line with Federal Government (FG) policy on correctional centres decongestion.
“The governor is determined to ensure that the disease does not enter the state as the world is grappling with the effects of the pandemic.
“He also believes that the idea of social distancing being preached in all the parts of the state might not be maintained in the custodial centres because of the way the inmates are kept.
“We thank the governor for this gesture as this shows that he is truly an apostle of God.
“I also thank the state advisory council on the prerogative of mercy which I head, for considering the merits of several applications submitted by various bodies for the pardon of correctional centre inmates in the state.
NAN reports that one of the pardoned convicts, Mr Peter Chinonso, thanked God and the governor for the gesture.
“I was convicted in 2017 for stealing when I was in Senior Secondary School (SS2) and I will strive to continue with my education to become a lawyer,” he said.