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AJIMOBI’S ABUSE OF POWER OF CLEMENCY By Richard Akinnola

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Between 2006 and 2007, l was a member of the Advisory Council on the prerogative of mercy to the Lagos State Governor. Our Chairperson was the wonderful Funke Aboyade, SAN. Nurudeen Ogbara was also a member. I mention their names because they are my friends on Facebook and so, can bear me witness.

During our time, l can confidently say that there was no pressure from the government quarters to commute or recommend to the Governor, the release of any prisoner. We met regularly and took decisions based on their merits. There was no way we would have advised the Governor to release someone who had barely served two years of her seven year sentence for killing her husband.

I was therefore mortally shocked, when l read yesterday that the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Ajimobi granted clemency to Yewande Oyediran, a lawyer in the Oyo state DPP’s office, who was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 2017 by a court for stabbing her husband to death.

Even though she ought to have been convicted for murder, but nonetheless she was still jailed for a lesser offence, manslaughter.

It is unconscionable and a blatant abuse of the power of clemency for Ajimobi to have freed the woman, barely two years after she was convicted, as a parting gift. Even if the Advisory board on prerogative of mercy had so recommended, strange as it was, it amounted to abuse of power, to have granted such a clemency. Obviously, Ajimobi did that because he was close to the woman. If you followed the trial, you’ll catch my drift.

How would the family of the victim feel?
Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, JSC, (as he then was) once opined:”Justice is not a one-way traffic. It is not justice for the appellant only. Justice is not even a two-way traffic. It is really a three-way traffic – Justice for the appellant accused of a heinous crime of murder; justice for the victim, the murdered man, the deceased whose blood is crying to heaven for vengeance and finally, Justice for the society at large”.

What Ajimobi did was evil, an injustice to the dead man, figuratively urinating on the grave of the man.

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