Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, on Tuesday pardoned 32 inmates in Gusau Correctional Center as part of efforts to decongest prisons in the state.
Bello said that the gesture was also to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The governor, represented by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Nura Ibrahim said that those pardoned were selected based on their responses to training and behavioral change while serving their jail terms.
He said ” it was those believed to have changed their characters to good behaviour that were set free, and we urge them to sustain the good behavior as they return to their families.”
He urged the beneficiaries to shun acts capable of returning them to jail, adding that they should engage in lawful businesses to sustain their families.
Also, the Zamfara Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Centre, Mr Sani Adamu said, President Buhari had earlier pardoned 22 other inmates from the state bringing the total number of those freed to 54.
Adamu said the decongestion program had created space in the center while the facilities are now adequate to serve the needs of the remaining inmates.
The Comptroller appealed to philanthropists and Non Governmental Organization to contribute by offsetting the fines for those jailed because of their inability to pay the fines.
Meanwhile, Ladidi Simon, a mother of 10 from Benue, who was among those released by the governor, told newsmen that she was jailed in January 2018 over a N12 million debt.
She commended the governor for her release and prayed for the success of his administration.
“When I was convicted I thought I will remain and die in prison, but all praises be to God I am free today. May God continue to help Governor Matawalle in all his present and future endeavors,” Simon said.