By Omeiza Ajayi
Following speculations that husband killer, Maryam Sanda may have been released from custody as part of those who benefitted from a Presidential Amnesty for some inmates, the Nigerian Correctional Service NCoS has said the convict is still in its custody.
Spokesman of the Service, DCC Augustine Chuks Njoku in a statement yesterday said Ms Sanda was not among the 70 inmates of the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje who were granted presidential pardon last Thursday.
“The Service wants to categorically state that the news is fake and very unrealistic and an attempt to rubbish the good intention of the President towards decongesting the custodial centres,” he stated.
While addressing a press conference last week, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had said those who benefitted from the amnesty were convicts who are 60 years and above; those serving three years and above with less than 6 months to serve; and, inmates with ill-health likely to terminate in death.
Other beneficiaries were inmates with mental ill-health, those with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000 with no pending case; convicted pregnant women, convicted women with child, convicted inmates with minor offences and convicted inmates who spent 75 per cent of their sentence after remission.
“According to the minister, inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and the likes are not qualified for the Presidential Pardon.
“It is obvious that Maryam Sanda did not meet any of the above-mentioned requirements and therefore did not benefit from the Presidential Pardon/Clemency. We further want to assure the public that Maryam Sanda is in our custody and will remain as such.
“The Controller General of Corrections Ja’afaru Ahmed wishes to assure the public that the Service will ensure the safety and humane containment of the inmates in our custody and therefore advice the public to discountenance the rumour that Maryam Sanda benefited from the presidential pardon”, the statement added.