CSOs, Wike, Ozekhome Condemn State Pardon

CSOs, Wike, Ozekhome Condemn State Pardon.

Mike Ozekhome, a constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has criticized the presidential pardon granted to former Plateau and Taraba state governors Joshua and Jolly Name.

Following approval from the Council of State, the president announced the pardon of the ex-governors convicted of corruption, as well as 159 others, on Friday.

According to him, Sections 212(1) and 175(1) and (2) of the Constitution grant the president the prerogative of mercy to pardon criminals in deserving circumstances, but it must not be done in a vulgar manner.

Also, Rivers State governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Nyesom Wike has claimed that the state pardons granted to former governors of Plateau and Taraba states were granted to help the All Progressives Congress (APC) win the 2023 elections.

On Saturday, he addressed PDP stakeholders in Minna, Niger State’s capital, ahead of the party’s primary election.

While describing the pardon as regrettable, Wike stated that the federal government would not have allowed the EFCC to waste resources and time prosecuting those it deemed corrupt officials.

Similarly, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Transparency International (TI) Nigeria have expressed dissatisfaction with the pardon granted to some corrupt politicians convicted by the Nigerian judiciary.

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, the executive director of CISLAC, expressed concern on Saturday in a statement about the impact such an ill-conceived political pardon would have on the federal government’s anti-corruption efforts.

Rafsanjani stated that the pardon also failed the test of fairness and equity when compared to poor citizens who have been convicted and are currently incarcerated for lesser crimes.

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