The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, on Thursday, released a man who had spent 25 years behind bars.
He also released 24 others to mark this year’s independence anniversary.
A prison official, who pleaded anonymity, told journalists that the man, whose further particulars were not disclosed, had been in prison since 1990.
“The prisoner has been in prison since 1990. The governor was moved by his plight. He was not jailed for a capital offence,” the official said.
The state governor, who noted in his independence anniversary speech that he saw hope in Nigeria, said he had to release the detainees based on humanitarian grounds.
He said, “Brothers and sisters, I see hope for Anambra State. I see hope for Nigeria. It is along this line that I have decided to give hope to the hopeless amongst us by exercising my prerogative of mercy and granting amnesty to 25 prisoners serving different terms in the three prisons in Anambra State.
“This special anniversary of our nationhood calls for a sober reflection. 55 years ago, when the Green-White-Green Nigerian flag replaced the British Union Jack, our founding fathers dreamt of a country whose greatness would finally announce to the free world, the rise of a superpower in black Africa.
“They dreamt of a strong country whose inherent potential would outweigh its inborn socio-cultural inhibitions and whose promise would outshine the teething problems of nascent nationhood. Our founding fathers had rightly hoped and prayed for the sun to rise in Nigeria and for a moment, their wishes seemed granted.”
The governor said that 55 years after independence, Nigeria had survived successive waves of pogroms and a bloody Civil War.
He said, “We have repeatedly danced on the edge of the cliff and experienced harrowing moments of civil disturbances, religious and ethnic violence and widespread uncertainty and doubt about our corporate future.
“Right now, the dark clouds of insurgency hovers over the North-East of Nigeria and all over the country, a general sense of insecurity reigns. But Nigeria is stronger than all her challenges and Nigeria will survive through it all. When I look at what we have been through in Anambra State and how far we have come, it gives me hope for Nigeria.”