Council of State ratifies pardon for Ambrose Alli, others
• Approves Kwarra as NPC chairman
The National Council of State yesterday ratified the presidential pardon granted the late former governor of the defunct Bendel State, now Edo and Delta states, Prof. Ambrose Alli, and three other Nigerians.
Although Alli, who was pardoned over N900,000 fraud, later made a refund of the money to the government, he was, however, convicted.
The other pardoned are Col. Moses Effiong, Major E.J Olanrewaju (for an attempted coup in the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida era), and Ajayi Olusola Babalola.
Addressing State House Correspondents after the council’s meeting yesterday, attended by four former heads of states – Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Earnest Shonekan, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and former President Goodluck Jonathan– the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said the ratification came after his presentation of a memo relating to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.
“The memo was presented for consultation in line with one of the constitutional requirements and consideration of the grant of pardon to 45 persons, two inmates for pardon, 39 inmates for clemency, and four ex-convicts for a presidential pardon,” he said.
According to Malami, the council also okayed the appointment of two new legal practitioners as members of Federal Judicial Service Commission.
He explained that the law confered on President Buhari the authority to make such appointments, including members of the Federal Judicial Service Commission in consultation with the Council of State.
“The exercise this morning relating to the presentation of the council memo was for the purpose of fulfilling the constitutional righteousness relating to the appointment of the two new legal practitioners. In essence, it is to consult with the Council of State out of desire for compliance with constitutional requirements.
“The two members to represent the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the Federal Judicial Service Commission are Namoso Ekanem (SAN) from Akwa Ibom State, representing the South-South geo-political zone and
Mammud Abubakar Mogaji (SAN) from Niger State to represent the North Central geo-political zone.”
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the council approved the appointment of Nasiru Isa Kwarra as chairman of National Population Commission (NPC).
Members of the commission also approved are: Muhammed Chuso A. Dottijo (Sokoto), Alhaji Razaq Gidado (Kwara), Ibrahim Mohammed (Bauchi), Joseph Kwai Shazin (FCT), Bala Almu Banya (Katsina) and Mrs. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin (Lagos).
The SGF said apart from former President Olusegun Obasanjo that was absent, the meeting was attended by all the living former Nigerian leaders.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Mungonu (rtd), briefed on the security challenges facing the country and the council approved the setting up of a national centre for control of small and light weapons to be domiciled in his office.
The Director-General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, who represented the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said he briefed the council on the nation’s troubled economy because of the twin effects of COVID-19 pandemic and drop in oil prices, with the expectation that Q3 would be negative and the country might fall into recession.
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