Immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, a week before the expiration of his tenure, granted clemency to Yewande Oyediran, a civil servant at the state’s Ministry of Justice who was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for killing her husband.
Yewande was convicted of manslaughter in November 2017 and was given the prison sentence by Justice Muntar Abimbola of the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan.
She was said to have stabbed her husband with a knife after a disagreement where she accused him of infidelity on February 2, 2016.
Speaking to PUNCH, Seun Abimbola, who served as the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice under Ajimobi said the governor had constitutional rights to grant amnesty to any convict.
He added that Ajimobi didn’t do this arbitrarily, but acted on a report from a committee set up to look into petitions of 400 persons who had pleaded for clemency.
Commissioners, officials of the Department of State Services and other government agencies made up the committee, Abimbola said.
He added that 50 people, including Yewande were granted clemency.
See his statement to Punch below:
The issue of clemency by any government is a constitutional matter and the exercise of that power is not arbitrary. It is based on the recommendation of the committee on the prerogative of mercy.
The committee is chaired by the attorney-general and also has DSS officers, the police, the chaplain and the chief imam of the Government House, Legal Aid Council; Director, Legal Affairs; the Solicitor-General and the Director of Public Prosecutions as members. So, it was not an arbitrary decision.
The lady in question is just one out of 50 who were pardoned. And the 50 who were pardoned were drawn out of 400 who were considered. So, she was not singled out as some are insinuating. Even the prisons authorities brought recommendations on the good behaviour of those pardoned.
She was arrested in 2016 and her sentence started reading from the day she was arrested. A year in prison is nine months. She was not convicted of murder but of manslaughter. It was a fight between a husband and a wife, which resulted in death.
People should stop saying she killed her husband as if it was premeditated. The amnesty was not a secret one. We did it every May 29 and even the new governor pardoned convicts on June 12.