The Nigerian Correctional Service has freed Senator Joshua Dariye, a former governor of Plateau State, and Jolly Nyame, a former governor of Taraba State (NCoS).
Before President Muhammadu Buhari awarded them a presidential pardon a few months ago, they were serving prison sentences on corruption-related charges.
In April this year, 157 additional criminals had their pardons accepted by the Council of State.
Judge Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal High Court in Abuja found the former governors guilty in 2018.
Dariye was found guilty of stealing N1.16 billion while serving as governor of the Plateau from 1999 to 2007 and received a 14-year prison term. But the Abuja Court of Appeal ultimately lowered his sentence to 10 years, and the Supreme Court upheld his conviction.
Nyame, the governor of Taraba from 1999 to 2007, was found guilty of stealing N1.6 billion from the state’s coffers and received a 12-year prison term. The Supreme Court also supported the ruling.
Confirming their release, Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Abubakar Umar, stated that their release was effected following a letter of clemency from the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Humphrey Chukwuedo, the NCoS Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command’s Public Relations Officer, confirmed their release and added that they were allowed to leave the facility only after proper documentation.
He said, “The release is sequel to the receipt of the letter of clemency from the Presidential Prerogative of Mercy Committee by the Controller General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa.
“The Controller of Corrections, FCT Command, Ahmed Ahmed, acting on the directives of the Controller General, also released three other inmates who were granted a pardon from the Suleja Custodial Centre.”
When asked why others were yet to be released, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Umar Abubakar, said they would be freed as soon as all conditions are perfected.
He said, “Now, it is only these ones released from Kuje Custodial Centre that their release process has been perfected. Once someone has been brought in, a process must be followed to release them. However, we will keep releasing them as they meet the conditions.”