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ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR DR IFEANYI OKOWA, GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE, ON THE INAUGURATION OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON THE PREROGAGTIVE OF MERCY ON THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 2017, AT HIS EXCELLENCY’S CONFERENCE ROOM, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA.

 

I welcome you all to this inauguration of the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.

 

  1. As you may be aware, the Prerogative of Mercy refers to “the right and power of a sovereign state president, or other supreme authority to commute a death sentence, to change of execution, or to pardon an offender.” Other terms used to describe this discretionary power include clemency, state pardon or amnesty. The Prerogative of Mercy, as it relates to State Governors, is enshrined in Section 212 of the Constitution of the

 

 

 

 

Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which states that:

  1. The Governor may:

“(a) Grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offence created by any Law of a State a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;

  1. Grant to any person a respite, either for an indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence;

 

  1. Substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence; or
  2. Remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the State on account of such an offence.

(ii) The powers of the Governor under subsection (1) of this section shall be exercised by him after consultation with

such Advisory Council of the State on Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the law of the State.”

 

  1. As a general rule, a pardon becomes necessary where a convict has (a) exhausted all his legal rights of appeal; or (b) does not intend to exercise such rights; or (c) he is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.

 

  1. Over the years, the Prerogative of Mercy has helped to decongest our overcrowded prisons nationwide. Currently, there are 3,442 inmates in our prisons in Agbor, Kwale, Ogwashi-Uku, Sapele and Warri. This figure includes convicted felons and those awaiting trial. An additional 1,000 plus persons were convicted by the Delta State Judiciary but serving their various sentences in prisons in other parts of the Federation.

 

  1. It is in line with the constitutional provision as highlighted earlier, and consistent with our pursuit of a justice system that is just, fair and equitable that the Delta State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy is being inaugurated today. Beyond granting pardon to convicts, it is my hope and expectation that

 

 

the Council will also come up with a template for the rehabilitation of this people once they are released. It is needful that we come up with a workable plan of how these ex-inmates can be gainfully engaged to facilitate their reintegration into the mainstream of society.

  1. It is on this note that I now inaugurate the following as Members of the Delta State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.

 

  1. Chief A.P.J. OKPAKPOR -- Chairman

(ii) DR. SAMUEL EFETOBOR -- Delta Central

Senatorial District (Member)

 

(iii) BARR. KRESS NJUOKUEMENI -- Delta North

Senatorial District (Member)

 

  1. HON. (MRS.) IRENE IMILAR -- Delta South

Senatorial District (Member)

 

  1. JOHN OKORIKO ESQ. -- Rep. of the

Nigerian Bar Association (Member)

 

 

 

 

(vi) PAULINA EGBON -- Rep. of Nigerian

Prisons Services. (Member)

 

  1. U.R. MONYE (MRS.) -- Secretary

(Ministry of Justice)

 

  1. I congratulate you on your appointments and wish you success in this assignment.
  2. Thank you for your time and attention.
  3. God bless us all.

 

 

 

Office of the Governor

Government House

Asaba

March, 2017