Details of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Council of State meeting with Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday, have emerged.
Reports that you on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a virtual meeting of the National Council of State, from the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Also present were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who is the Deputy Chairman.
While former President Goodluck Jonathan attended the meeting physically, former Head of the Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan and three former military Heads of State, Yakubu Gowon, Abdusalami Abubakar and Ibrahim Babangida all joined virtually, while Obasanjo was absent.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), disclosed this outcome of the meeting to State House correspondents.
According to Malami, the National Council of State ratified the presidential pardon granted to a former Governor of the defunct Bendel State, Ambrose Alli and three others.
Alli was convicted by a military tribunal for allegedly misappropriating N983,000 meant for a road project and sentenced to 100 years in prison. Shortly after his release from prison, Alli died on his 60th birthday on September 22, 1989.
Others who got presidential pardon are Col. Moses Effiong and Major E.J Olarenwaju, who were convicted for their attempted coup to topple Babangida’s regime as well as Ajayi Babalola.
Malami said, “The memo presented for consultation in line with one of the constitutional requirements and consideration of granting of pardon to 45 persons: two inmates for pardon, 39 inmates for clemency and four ex-convicts for presidential pardon.
“To further clarify on the prerogative of mercy, Mr President, with COVID-19 pandemic, directed the decongestion of our correctional centres across the country.
“By way of collaborative action, the governors and heads of courts across the nations have worked assiduously in collaboration with the presidential committee on decongestion of our correctional centres and at the end of the day, we have succeeded in taking out over 4,000 inmates out of our correctional centres across the country.”
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