After over three months incarceration, the Niger State Government has announced the release of 161 persons arrested and charged in connection with the January 2012 fuel subsidy induced riots in the state.
The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in the state, Barrister Abdullahi Adamu Wuse however said that 23 others who had confessed to committing the crime would be tried in the court.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice said that government decided to release the 161 accused persons because there was no iron cast evidence to continue their prosecution.
The commissioner represented by the Solicitor General, Ndagi Wali said that the pardon was also in line with government’s spirit of forgiveness to any one that had genuinely shown remorse.
He however said that those released would have to undertake a bond to be of good behaviour while their activities would continue to be monitored by the security agencies in the state.
He said that the 23 others would be made to face a 4 count charge of rioting ,unlawful assembly, causing grievous hurt and conspiracy and that the five magistrate courts trying the accused persons would speedily carry out the trial to ensure the accused persons did not stay long awaiting trial.
It would be recalled that the police following the outbreak of violence during the last anti-fuel subsidy riot arrested no fewer than 200 youths suspected to be part of the protest including some top politicians who were later granted bail but some youths were still kept in detention.