The last has not been heard of the State Pardon granted the former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Dipreye Alamieyesegha and seven others. It is believed by many Nigerians that the main scheme was to grant Chief Alamieyesegha pardon and while the others would be used to appeal to the sensibilities of Nigerians. Moreover, Alamieyesegha is believed to be the President’s political godfather and mentor being his predecessor as the Governor of Bayelsa State.
While the American Government has described Alamieyesegha’s pardon as a setback in the war on corruption, checks have revealed that like the National Honours that had traces of error, in which some recipients were given national honours lower than what they had been given previously, the recent state pardon granted by the council of state has been found to contain some errors. Three of the beneficiaries of the pardon, Generals Shehu Yar’Adua, Oladipo Diya and Abdulkarim Adisa had been pardoned by the Abdulsalami Abubakar administration back in 1998. The pardon was contained in a gazette signed by Gen Abubakar on September 30, 1998. Also pardoned with Yar’Adua and the others was Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who was also accused of being an accessory to information about a coup to oust the Abacha administration and that was the reason he was able to contest for the presidency in 1999. According to the gazette, the pardon took effect from July 14, 1998.
Street Journal has found out that the Generals’ pardon was recorded in the Federal Government’s gazette No 54, Decree 51 of October 2, 1998.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe had defended Alamieyesegha’s pardon stating that there was nothing wrong with it. Messages sent to President Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media, Dr Reuben Abati on what seemed to be an error of commission were not replied at the time of filing this report.