By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
As part of the activities to mark his first yuletide season in office, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has granted six inmates freedom and converted three others on death sentence to life imprisonment.
These were contained in two executive orders; Executive Commutation of Death Sentence Order and Executive Grant of Clemency Order were signed by the Governor on Christmas day and are both expected to take immediate effect.
The three male inmates on death row but converted to life imprisonment were: Muhammed Abdulkadiri, Moses Akpan and Sunday Okondo.
Other six that were set free by the governor include three females: Bestman Dennar, Wasiu Jimoh, Augustine Opara, Folakemi Osin, Rebecca Danladi, and Ogechi Njoku.
He disclosed the two orders on Wednesday during an interview at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos where he observed the Christmas day service with his family,
The Governor described Christmas period as a season to reflect on blessings received and distribute gifts, saying, despite the numerous challenges facing the nation, she is growing stronger.
‘‘As a nation as and as a State, it is only appropriate for us to count our blessings and reflect on those things that have happened to us in the course of the year and how we can improve them and be better citizens.
‘‘For us as a state, it is also a season of giving back, so I have also signed a small release of some convicts that we have in the various prisons; people who have been given death sentences have been reduced to life sentences and some who have been jailed for minor offenses have also been given warning and have asked for them to be pardoned,’’ Sanwo-Olu added.
The Lagos State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy in the performance of its statutory functions under the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy Law 2015 considered applications from convicted inmates and upon due consideration of the applications, recommended the commutation of death sentences to life imprisonment, in respect of three convicted inmates.