Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has granted amnesty to over 112 inmates of the Medium Security Prison in Makurdi, the state capital, lamenting that the prison which has over 700 inmates was overcrowded, even as a cell which was supposed to accommodate 20 inmates takes more than 120.
The governor said the decision was part of the amnesty programme of his administration, adding that the action was backed by Section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ortom said 38 convicts were granted amnesty out of which 16 were released from prison custody, eight had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment and 14 also had their sentences reduced.
He also paid fines for 74 inmates including those in Kaduna, Jos, Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo prisons, disclosing that over N2 million was used for this purpose.
He advised those granted amnesty to change their behaviour and become productive to growth and development of the society, even as he appealed to Benue indigenes to accept and assist them in their period of reformation, rehabilitation and resettlement.
The governor announced the construction of three motorised boreholes, a Toyota bus, as well as a Hilux vehicle to ease the transportation problem of warders and inmates, assuring that government will continue to support it in its drive towards reformation.
The state Prisons Controller, Oyigocho Ogbole, appreciated the efforts of the governor in reducing crime in the state through the amnesty programme which was yielding positive results.
He requested for vehicles, renovation of the dilapidated prison in Wadata area of Makurdi, as well as the re-invigoration of the moribund Advisory Council of the Prerogative of Mercy Committee.


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