Buhari has pardoned two members of his political party who were jailed for looting state resources by federal judges.
On Thursday, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame were freed from federal prisons after Mr Buhari informed the Council of State of his administration’s readiness to grant mercy to the politicians.
The duo served as governors of contiguous Plateau and Taraba states along the vast mountains of central and eastern regions. They were convicted in 2018 by the same judge Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja
While Mr Dariye, who governed Plateau between 1999 and 2007, bagged 14 years for stealing N1.16 billion, Mr Nyame, Taraba governor from 1999 to 2007, received 12 years for stealing N1.6 billion, a verdict that was later affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2020. They were serving their respective sentences at the federal correctional facility in Kuje, a suburb of Abuja.
Mr Buhari’s cabinet announced granting clemency to 159 convicts on Thursday but hushed the names of Messrs Dariye and Nyame from the list to avoid immediate public backlash. Both politicians had joined Mr Buhari’s All Progressives Congress before being jailed, with Mr Dariye serving as a senator from Plateau.
This pardon means that both of them are free to contest for offices in their various states.