AS Nigerians celebrate 54 years of independence, the Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has granted total pardon to three prisoners sentenced to death and commuted the death sentence of nine others to various terms of imprisonment.
Speaking on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 at a colourful celebration to mark the Independence Day in Asaba, the state capital, Governor Uduaghan said the pardon of the prisoners was based on recommendations from the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.
According to him, “as part of the independence Day celebration, through the power conferred on me under section 212 of the Nigerian Constitution and based on the recommendation from the State Advisory Council of the Prerogative of Mercy, I have granted total pardon to three prisoners sentenced to death and granted amnesty to nine other prisoners on death row whose sentences have now been commuted to various terms of imprisonment.”
Governor Uduaghan disclosed that a case of a 24 years old boy, who when he was 16 years was accused of stealing a phone and was sentenced to death, was being looked into by him, explaining that but for an appeal already filed by the family he would have granted him pardon.
He therefore pleaded with the family to withdraw the appeal from the court to enable him exercise the relevant powers and grant the accused pardon, adding that any action taken would be subjudice.
Decrying the activities of the terrorists group, he said: “I want to call on sponsors of Boko Haram that enough is enough, they should have a rethink, they have killed, maimed, kidnapped and today, we are saying, enough is enough,” calling on the sponsors of Boko Haram to use the occasion of the nation’s 54th Independence Anniversary “to reflect on their actions, enough is enough.”
Uduaghan urged Nigerians to always support President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and pray for those who were staking their lives for Nigeria to remain an indivisible entity, emphasizing that prayers should also be offered for the families of those who lost their lives while protecting the interest of the country.
He used the occasion to warn governorship aspirants in Delta State to desist from heating up the polity by their actions and utterances in their campaign for the 2015 general elections, disclosing that some governorship aspirants were engaging in rumour mongering, deliberate falsehood and falsification of documents and facts in order to cause disaffection in the state.
“This is my last Independence Day celebration, the person who will take over from me must realize that in getting to this position, no life must be lost, no evil created, no rumour must be used, no gang up must be used,” he said, adding, “when you want to use evil, rumour or gang up, it will not take you anywhere.
“Let me assure the person that Delta State has gone beyond being pulled down, I cannot be pulled down, you may try but you will never succeed, whatever you are planning, the state must jump over your evil plans, we are the finger of God.”
“If you want to be governor, come out and tell the people your programme. I don’t know who will be governor but I know those who will not take over from me as I have told God that no rumour mongers, evil planner will become governor.”
He thanked the security agencies, royal fathers, spiritual leaders and all Deltans for the different roles they are playing in moving the state and the country forward.