Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has granted a state pardon to 34 inmates serving various jail terms in Calabar Prison to mark the 50th Anniversary of the state.
Ayade said this on Saturday in Calabar in his anniversary speech to the people of the state.
He said that Cross River had every reason to celebrate 50 years of its existence as a state, considering its monumental achievements during the period.
The governor said the pardon was in the spirit of the celebration and based on the provision of section 212 of the 1999 Constitution.
He said, “in the spirit of the celebration and the powers vested on me by the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, I hereby grant clemency to the following category of people serving various jail terms in the state.
“They are five people on death row; 16 prisoners serving life sentences; four prisoners who are above 60 years of age; nine convicted criminals who are terminally ill and may likely die any moment if not granted pardon.’’
Ayade stressed the need for the people to always remember past leaders of the state who had made considerable efforts in moving the state to greater heights.
He said that in spite of the great challenges that have bedeviled the state, there was the need for the people to have hope for a greater future.