By Okon Okon
Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, has cautioned the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM) in the discharge of its duties.
The minister, who gave the advice when he reconvened PACPM committee members in his office, said the caution was to avoid releasing un-repentant criminals back into the society.
In a statement by Mrs Julie Osagie, Deputy Director of Press in Special Duties office on Tuesday in Abuja, Akume reminded the PACPM committee to work in accordance to its objectives.
Akume recalled that PACPM was meant to review, select and determine convicts/ex-convicts to be granted pardon for onward recommendation to the National Council of State, headed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He cautioned the committee members that any mistake on their parts could cause more social problems in the country.
“Mr President will be relying on you as a committee to do what is required of him constitutionally to grant pardon to deserving inmates, convicts and ex-convicts with the aim of decongesting the Correctional Centres nationwide, “ Akume said.
Also, Mr Abubakar Malami, Attoney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, who served as the Chairman of the committee noted that it had become expedient for the PACPM to reconvene as the committee secretariat.
According to him, there are over 320 applications, requesting for the grant of Presidential Pardon and clemency on behalf of some convicts in Custodial Centres across the country.
Malami urged members of the committee to review the applications objectively, based on facts before them, in the public interest, as well as in the interest of justice.
The committee members are Anthonia Ekpa, Ayoola Daniels, Usendiah Joseph, CP Shehu Gwarzo, Albert Uko, Prof. Auwal Yadudu, Debbie Obodoukwu, Lucy Ajayi, and Joshua Abu.
Others are B. A. Ogunbambi, Yetunde Haastrup, and Angela Jim-Jaja, a Director in the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, who will serve as Secretary of the committee. (NAN)(www.nannews,ng)