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Council of State pardons Ambrose Alli, Effiong, two others



The National Council of State on Thursday ratified the presidential pardon granted to the late former governor of the defunct Bendel State, Ambrose Alli, and three others.

Also pardoned by the council were two military officers – Col. Moses Effiong and Major E.J Olanrewaju and a civilian, Ajayi Babalola.

At the meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, were ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, ex-military President Ibrahim Babangida, former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.

While Jonathan was physically present at the State House, the trio of Babangida, Abdulsalami and Shonekan joined the meeting via video conference.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was conspicuously absent at the meeting.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.

Alli was convicted by a military tribunal for allegedly misappropriating N983,000 meant for a road project and sentenced to 100 years in prison.

He died on September 22, 1989.

READ ALSO: Buhari to pardon late Ambrose Ali whom he sentenced to 100 years in 1983

Effiong and Olarenwaju were convicted for their role in the attempt to topple Babangida’s regime in 1990.

The ratification, according to Malami, was based on a memorandum he presented to the council on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.

The AGF said: “The memo presented for consultation in line with one of the constitutional requirements and consideration for granting of pardon to 45 persons: two inmates for pardon, 39 inmates for clemency and four ex-convicts for presidential pardon.

“To further clarify on the prerogative of mercy, Mr. President, with COVID-19 pandemic, directed the decongestion of our correctional centres across the country.

“By way of collaborative action, the governors and heads of courts across the nations have worked assiduously in collaboration with the presidential committee on decongestion of our correctional centres and at the end of the day, we have succeeded in taking out over 4,000 inmates out of our correctional centres across the country.

“What we have today is a consolidation of what has been done and the strategies put in place to see to the decongestion of our correctional centres.”

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