By Emmanuel Nduka
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri has pardoned nine inmates confined in the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Okaka, Yenagoa, the state capital.
The governor announced the gesture o Tuesday when he visited the centre.
While speaking to the freed inmates, Diri counselled them to change their ways and become more responsible members of the society.
The governor however expressed worry that the pardon would not guarantee decongestion of prisons except crimes are reduced.
“Whereas you have all made written applications seeking for this discretionary exercise by the government of Bayelsa State, and having consulted with the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy and in accordance with the laws of Bayelsa state and in the exercise of my constitutional powers as the governor of Bayelsa State, I hereby grant you mercy.
“I do not believe we should have this centre congested with our brothers and sisters. In other words, the propensity for crime and criminality must be reduced. That is the only way we can decongest the Okaka Correctional Centre,” he said.
Urging them to turn a new leaf, he said “if we grant amnesty and there is still the propensity to continue in crime, no amount of jail delivery can decongest this prison.
“Change your approach to life and become responsible members of society and contribute to the good image of Bayelsa state.”
According to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, a sitting governor has such powers to grant favour based on recommendations from the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.