october 20, 2012 http://allafrica.com
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has granted amnesty to two prisoners condemned to death in exercise of his prerogative of mercy.
The governor said the prisoners, Monday Odu, who was sentenced to death for conspiracy and murder, and Calistus Ikem, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery, were granted amnesty because they did not take the lives of their victims.
He also commuted to life imprisonment the sentence of death penalty for two others: Tijani Mustapha, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery; and Zubem Abduramma, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery; while Patrick Ojiefo, who was convicted for assault on a police officer while discharging his lawful duty and served 6-months jail term in 1973, was granted pardon.
Speaking after granting amnesty to Odu and Ikem, Oshiomhole said: “You have been condemned to death for murder but we have exercised the prerogative of mercy to release you from prison for the offence believing you have learnt your lesson. You can still be useful to society and useful to yourself.”
While addressing Odu, 32, and a minor when he was convicted in 1997, the governor said, “We are letting you off the hook to go and sin no more. We will find a way to find a job for you under the Edo Youth Employment Scheme. You have no reason to return to crime and that means if you do anything again you are completely on your own.”
He told Ikem, 52, and convicted in 1996, to be ready to work and cope with the rigours of life as he returned to his family in Imo State.
“You stole house hold items which could have taken your life. The government will give you N200,000 and another N100, 000 to Monday Odu to go and start all over. I hope you will be able to make something positive out of this your present condition,” Oshiomhole added.
The Comptroller of Prisons in Edo State, Mr. Ewuho Jimoh, who led the prisoners to Government House, said he was presenting the two inmates who had been granted amnesty in compliance with a letter granting them pardon to the governor.