A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Femi Falana, on Friday, threatened President Muhammadu Buhari to show equity, justice, and fairness, as provided for in the 1999 Constitution, as amended, to petty convicted thieves in Prisons in the country, or be ready to face discrimination law suits, .
Falana made the call at the 1st anniversary of late Afenifere Spokesman, Yinka Odumakin’s Lecture and Book Presentation.
He said that doing so for convicts without selectivity, and irrespective of class, would give a reflection of fairness and equality for all before the Law.
Recall, that the Council of State recently granted Presidential pardon to 159 convicts, on Thursday.
Among them were a former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, and another former Governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, who were both jailed for allegedly stealing N1.16 billion and N1.6 billion, respectively.
Falana said exactly: “All petty thieves in our prisons should be released. Under Section 17 of the 1999 Constitution, there shall be equality and equal rights for all citizens.
“Section 42 of the Constitution says there shall be no discrimination on the basis of class and gender, so you cannot take out a few people on the basis that they belong to a category or section of the society.
“I can assure you that if the government did not release others, I am going to call on lawyers whose clients are left in custody to come to court and challenge the discriminatory treatment on their clients.
“Just two weeks ago, a Nigerian was jailed for stealing N1,000 in Abuja; the accused pleaded with the judge that he had no food but the judge jailed him for six months.
“When we are talking of justice and fair play, if you want to pardon some set of people, then you must also extend presidential pardon to petty thieves in the prisons.
“This is because if the big thieves are being asked to go, then they must also extend the facility to other Nigerians.”
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