The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated a 12-man Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Hon. Justice Peter Isibor (Retd.), with a charge to uphold mercy, where applicable, in the dispensation of justice.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Advisory Council, Obaseki noted that prerogative of mercy ensures justice is served with mercy, but without perverting the course of justice.
He said, “I believe in advising me you will balance the concept of justice with mercy for victims, victims’ family, society, the convicts and justice to all.” Other members of the council include Isaiah Gaja; the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Yinka Omorogbe; Professor Violet Aigbokhaevbo; Mrs. F Osazee; Dr. Stephanie Ighedosa; Dr. E Oyanna; Mrs. Rosaline Edigin; Ven. Osaro Uyi Igbinosa, the state’s Controller of Prisons; the Commissioner of Police; and the Commander of the Nigerian Air Force.
The governor said that during a National Economy Council meeting in Abuja, the National Committee on the Decongestion of Prisons and Awaiting Trial Inmates presented statistics of inmates awaiting trial and condemned criminals, revealing that Edo State ranked sixth in the country.
The governor noted that with the inauguration of the council, the state will ensure justice is served, noting that it is a principle that was provided for in the constitution. “The Prerogative of Mercy is a constitutional power granted to the governor under section 212 subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which allows the governor to grant any person respite from execution or any punishment after consultation with an advisory council on Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the law of the state. “It is important to note that the advisory council on Prerogative of Mercy has been provided for by the Bendel State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy Law Number 11, 1980,” he said.
He said he was confident that with the composition of the Advisory Council, the principle of the prerogative of mercy would come into force to decongest prisons. The Chairman of the Advisory Council, Hon. Justice Peter Isibor said the council will equitably discharge its duties. “We will be dealing with people who are already convicted by a superior court of the land and ensure only persons who deserve mercy are recommended for state pardon,” he added.