The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has granted reprieve to 21 convicts in exercise of his prerogative powers of mercy pursuant to the provisions of section 212 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in commemoration of the 57th Independence Day Celebration.
Also, the State Government will organise a March Past at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan for pupils and students in both public and private schools in the state.
The government said that Military and Para-Military agencies as well as voluntary organizations, such as Boys Scouts, Girls Guild amongst others are expected to participate in the March Past, adding that the Governor of the State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi will declare the ceremony open by 9am and take the March Past salute.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Seun Abimbola explained that seven persons were granted release from prison having spent varying terms of their sentences, 13 convicts had their life sentences reduced to a term of years, having spent considerable terms in prison, while one person had his death sentence commuted to a life sentence.
Abimbola said, “this is part of the commemorative efforts in celebration of the Independence day celebration. The records of the benefitting convicts suggests they have undergone reform while some of them have while incarcerated passed their GCE exams, obtained a first degree from the National Open University (NOUN) , with others at varying stages of a degree course at Noun in diverse courses.
“It is our hope that this gesture by his Excellency will be reciprocated by the beneficiaries by ensuring they are of good conduct when they are released, and become useful to themselves and the society at large,” the Attorney General added.
Speaking on the Independence Day Celebration, the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Yomi Oke stated that the theme of this year’s celebration is “Youth and Economic Empowerment: The Way Forward”, urging that Principals and Head teachers of public and private schools should mobilize their students and pupils to participate actively in all the lined up events including Cultural Display, Novelty March, Cycling and other side attractions.
The Commissioner disclosed that the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi will visit homes within Ibadan metropolis to donate food items and some daily needs for them, stressing that there will also be an Interdenominational service at the Government House Arcade to pray for the sustainability of peace, unity and progress in Nigeria by 2:00pm.
Mr. Oke also enjoined all the Heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), Permanent Secretaries and Directors to attend this national event promptly, assuring the public of the safety of their children and wards during March past with adequate security provided for the safety of lives and property at the stadium.