The Council of States headed by President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, granted state pardon to former governor of Bayelsa State Diepreiye Alamieyeisegha.
Also pardoned was another convict and former head of the Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama.
Alamieyeisegha was convicted for embezzling state funds while he was Bayelsa Governor, while Bulama, like Mr. Alamieyeisegha was investigated and later prosecuted for corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Council meeting which was attended by three former heads of states and some state governors also granted state pardon to some of those convicted for coup plotting by the Sani Abacha administration.
President Jonathan, speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Doyin Okupe, also confirmed the report. He said he has no apology for his action.
Mr. Okupe spoke on Channels TV breakfast show, Sunrise.
"That is an action that has been taken by the National Council of States and I have no apology for that." Mr. Jonathan said. "We must begin to respect and honour our institutions. I don't need to defend the action that has been taken."
When reminded that the action had created the impression that the government was not serious about the war against corruption, Mr. Jonathan said, "It is not all decisions parents take that are palatable for their kids. But with time they will realize that their parents are right."
He said pardoning Mr. Alamieyeseigha was in order as the former Bayelsa governor had suffered enough.
"A man was deposed. He was hounded, tried and jail. What is wrong with giving pardon to a remorseful sinner? "How come granting pardon to him has become an aberration? Is it because he is from Bayelsa? Is it from he is from South-South? Is it because he is connected to Mr. President?"
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