Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Tuesday, inaugurated the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy with a call on God to be merciful to him and members of the panel.
Malami, who is the committee’s chairman inaugurated members at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Abuja.
The panel, which has a four-year tenure, has the responsibility of recommending to the President prisoners, convicts and ex-convicts deserving presidential pardon.
“This is a committee of mercy. May God have mercy on us,” the minister said as he inaugurated the committee shortly before members held their maiden meeting behind closed doors.
Malami said the reconstitution of the committee would go a long way in bringing about a drastic reduction in the population of prisoners that he said had become a blot on the nation’s Criminal Justice System.
While describing the committee’s responsibility as sensitive and enormous, the minister said the purpose of its constitution and its guiding principles must be completely adhered to so as not to elude the process.
He said the committee would not only assist the President in granting pardon to deserving prisoners and ex-convicts and reintegrating them into the society but also work towards decongesting the nation’s prisons.
He said the terms of reference of the committee were statutory and constitutional as contained in Section 175 of the nation’s constitution.
Membership of the committee as reconstituted included the minister, a permanent secretary from the Office of the SGF, representative of the Inspector-General of Police, representative of the Nigerian Prison Service, representative of the National Human Rights Commission, representative of Jama’atu Nasril Islam, representative of Christian Association of Nigeria and four eminent Nigerians.
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