Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Afe Babalola and John Baiyeshea have condemned the state pardon granted to a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Dipreye Alamieyeseigha, on Tuesday by the National Council of State presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
In separate telephone interviews with our correspondent on Friday, Babalola and Baiyeshea said the state pardon for Alamieyeseigha could be misinterpreted to be an encouragement for people to engage in corruption with the hope that they would later receive state pardon.
Babalola said he could not fathom any justifiable reason for Alamieyeseigha’s pardon. He added that the crime committed by the recipient of the state pardon was a national disgrace and dent on Nigeria.
“State pardon is a prerogative of the Head of State following certain rules. I do not think that I can validly question his discretion.
“But on the fact of the case of Alamieyeseigha, the whole country and the judiciary were ridiculed because of the man. I do not think it is a proper thing to do in his case.
“Having regard to the shame and ignominy that the nation suffered in the case, I do not know the possible reasons for giving such a person a state pardon,” he said.
Baiyeshea said the pardon could encourage corruption and fraud.
He stated that it could cast aspersion on the anti-corruption drive of the Federal Government.