Alamieyeseigha: FG May Review Pardon List

Following alleged errors in the list of those pardoned alongside ex-Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the Federal Government may review the list of beneficiaries.

There were strong indications that the pardon granted a former Army Major, Bello Magaji, could be reversed.

The full list of the beneficiaries will be unveiled in a gazette to be released soon by the government. The gazette will also determine those who will eventually benefit from the entitlements that would be paid by the military or relevant government agencies.

The Council of State had on March 12, 2013 pardoned Alamieyeseigha alongside a former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, the late Maj.-Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, and some military officers implicated in the 1995 and 1997 military coups against the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Others on the pardon list are a former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Oladipo Diya; a former Minister of Communications, Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju; a former Minister of Works, the late Gen. Abdulkareem Adisa; a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank of the North, Alhaji Shettima Bulama; Dr. Chichi Ashwe and ex-Army Major, Bello Magaji, among others.

The amnesty was granted by President Goodluck Jonathan in line with the powers conferred on him by Section 175 of the 1999 Constitution.

Although the presidency has kept the list of the recipients under wraps, findings revealed that some errors had been noticed.

It was however learnt that the errors might be reviewed in the enabling gazette which will contain the full list of beneficiaries.

A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said the gazette is expected to be explicit on the list of beneficiaries, the terms of the pardon and their entitlements.

The source said: “There are one or two errors in the list of those pardoned. The lapses may be corrected in the forthcoming gazette.

“By the time the gazette is released, Nigerians will know the real beneficiaries of the pardon. Since the Council of State approved the pardon, there have been enquiries from the government by those involved in the 1995 and 1997 coups.

“Some of the coup convicts had been asking about their status since no official announcement was made by the government after the Council session. Thisis a major gap the government will fill with the gazette.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Another error is the pardon granted ex-Major Bello Magaji, who was convicted and sentenced to five years jail term for sodomy or homosexuality by a military court (General Court Martial) in 1996.

“ Magaji, a former military police officer attached to the Lagos Garrison Command, was accused of having serial sex with four male students of the Army Cantonment Boys Secondary School, Ojo Cantonment, Lagos.

“I think it has been discovered that Magaji’s name was allegedly smuggled into the list of those pardoned and erroneously categorised as one of those convicted for phantom coup.

“A lot of people protested that such a pardon will promote indiscipline in the armed forces.

“Also, since the National Assembly is opposed to homosexuality, it will look absurd for the President to pardon a homosexual.

“As a matter of fact, the Senate in November 2011 passed an anti-gay resolution. So, how Magaji’s name crept into the list has been a riddle in government circle. It can create a problem between the presidency and the National Assembly.

“ Some countries have also been asking about the real position of the Nigerian government on lesbianism since Magaji was pardoned. So, you can understand why the list may be reviewed.”

http://thenationonlineng.net/new/news/alamieyeseighas-saga-fg-may-review-pardon-list/

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