In what can be described as rare gift for the Christmas season, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday, 25 December, 2019, signed two Executive Orders, with one commuting death sentences of three convicted inmates to life imprisonment and the other setting free six others.
The two Orders: Executive Commutation of Death Sentence Order and Executive Grant of Clemency Order were signed by the Governor on Christmas Day and are both expected to take immediate effect.
Speaking earlier on the two orders at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos where he observed the Christmas Day service with his family, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Nigerians should return to God with hearts of gratitude for His protection over the country and Lagos State, saying despite the numerous challenges facing the nation, she is growing stronger.
The Governor said the Christmas period is a season of reflection, blessings and gift.
‘‘As a nation as and as a State, it is only appropriate for us to count our blessings and reflect on those things that have happened to us in the course of the year and how we can improve them and be better citizens.
‘‘For us as a state, it is also a season of giving back, so I have also signed a small release of some convicts that we have in the various prisons; people who have been given death sentences have been reduced to life sentences and some who have been jailed for minor offences have also been given warning and have asked for them to be pardoned.’’ Sanwo-Olu stated.
The Lagos State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy in the performance of its statutory functions under the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy Law 2015 considered applications from convicted inmates and upon due consideration of the applications, recommended the commutation of death sentences to life imprisonment, in respect of three convicted inmates.
The affected inmates are:
1) MUHAMMED ABDULKADIRI (M)
2) MOSES AKPAN (M)
3) SUNDAY OKONDO (M)
The Order for Clemency affects six other inmates who have been set free from different correctional centres around the country. They are:
1) BESTMAN DENNAR
2) WASIU JIMOH
3) AUGUSTINE OPARA
4) FOLAKEMI OSIN (F)
5) REBECCA DANLADI (F)
6) NJOKU OGECHI (F)
Governor Sanwo-Olu enjoined Lagos residents to continue to be law abiding, advising the residents to do things in moderation.
He said: ‘‘I want to send out a message to Lagosians that this is a season of peace. Let us live peacefully and do things in moderation. Let us understand that even while we are celebrating, we must do it with modesty and with a lot of decorum. Let us all remain peaceful, law abiding and humble.’’
The Executive Orders have been delivered to the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), who will deliver them to the Prisons Service for immediate action.