Lagos State Government has inaugurated a nine-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy to determine which prisoners and awaiting trial inmates are worthy of freedom this year.
It has former dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos Prof Oyelowo Oyewo as chairman and Director Legislative Drafting, Mrs Tola Akinsanya, as Secretary.
Other members are Lagos Attorney-General Mr Adeniji Kazeem, Mr. Olugbenga Oniyire, representing the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch; Mrs. Bolatumi Animashaun (NBA Lagos Branch); Mr. Adedotun Adebayo Adetunji (NBA Ikorodu Branch) and Mr Chris Okoye (NBA Badagry).
A representative of the state Controller-General of Prisons, Mrs Musili Onasanya, and a cleric, Sheikh Abdul- Rahman Ahmed, are also members.
Kazeem said the council is to advise the governor on convicted persons to be granted pardon in line with the constitution.
“Prerogative of Mercy is a right recognised under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), empowering the governor to grant pardon to any person convicted of an offence created by any law of that state subject to any lawful condition that may be imposed,’’ he said.
According to Kazeem,”Section 212(2) of the Constitution provides that the powers conferred on the governor under Section 212(1) shall be exercised by him after consultation with the Advisory Council of the State on the Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the law of the state’’.
He said the governor has approved the constitution of the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy in response to requests of the people of Lagos to grant pardon to some inmates that have been reformed and ready to be re-integrated into the society.
Kazeem identified the objectives of the justice system to include reform and, as much as possible, rehabilitate back into society those who transgress the laws of the state after serving due punishment.
He said members were appointed based on their individual track records and experience and membership cut across key areas of the society.
Kazeem said their tenure will commence from June 21 to May 28, 2019 in accordance with the provisions of the law.
However, a member, not being a person employed in the Civil Service of the state, may at any time resign his appointment by writing under his hand addressed to the governor,” he added.
He urged the members to work hard to ensure that deserving inmates are adequately re-integrated into the society.
Oyewo welcomed the opportunity to serve the state and promised that members would discharge their duties with diligence, The Nations reports.