Former Taraba State Governor Jolly Nyame and his counterpart from Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, and three others serving jail terms for various offences have been freed
Dariye, who was governor from 1999 to 2007, was jailed for laundering public funds to the tune of N1.162bn and was sentenced to 14 years in prison by Justice Banjoko who has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal.
Nyame who was governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007, was sentenced to 12 years jail term for stealing N1.6bn. The case went up to the apex court which affirmed his conviction.
The convicts were being held in the Nigerian Correctional Service Centre, Kuje in Abuja which recently came under attack by suspected terrorists.
The Council of State led by President Muhammadu Buhari, in April granted them pardon through prerogative of mercy, the action drew the ire of Nigerians who questioned the acclaimed fight against corruption of the incumbent Government.
The Nigeria prison authority had insisted on not releasing the ex governors and others granted pardon until a correspondence from the Ministry of Justice authorising the release was issued to them.
Spokesman of the Federal Capital Territory FCT Command of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Humphrey Chukwuedo when contacted confirmed the release of both men.
Asked why they were not released since April, the spokesman said the Service could not just release them based on verbal pronouncements.
“There was a process of documentation when they came. We received certain written instructions to that effect. So, we could not just release them without also receiving written instructions to they effect. It is a procedure”, he stated.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had in April told journalists that the council approved 159 out of 162 applications presented for consideration for the prerogative of mercy for convicts and inmates in prisons.
He however added that the council rejected a proposal to grant pardon to one of the prisoners sentenced to 120 years for theft of over N25bn, even though the pardon was sought on health grounds