Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has stressed the need for members of the public to be enlightened on the move by the National Council of State to pardon some prisoners and ex-convicts, to ensure many that deserve mercy are not left out.
The governor stated this in Katsina when he received the vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM) and permanent secretary in the office the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief William Alo, and some members of the committee.
Masari also enjoined the panel to examine critically, the request of notorious rapists and cattle rustlers for freedom or pardon as part of concerted efforts to rid the society of the criminal elements.
He further noted that persons who engaged in such acts should have their cases looked into thoroughly in the interest of vulnerable members of the public and peaceful co-existence, adding that in the past, cattle rustlers armed themselves with only machetes and sticks unlike these days when they carry dangerous weapons.
The governor however lamented the stigmatisation of every ex-convict by the public and warned against incarceration of hardened criminals with other unfortunate persons, especially young offenders, in the same cell in a bid to stop prisons from being a recruitment ground for criminal elements.
Earlier, the vice chairman of the committee, Chief William Alo, said the panel inaugurated last August had visited no fewer than 17 states across the country to examine prison inmates and convicts including those who had served their terms for possible pardon on New Year Day by President Muhammadu Buhari.