The Federal Government on Thursday granted amnesty to 2,600 prisoners as part of measures to decongest prison facilities in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this at a conference at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja.

He said at least 70 prisoners, who are serving various terms for crimes against the society, would be processed and released later today.

Aregbesola said the affected prisoners include those suffering from ill-health likely to terminate in death; convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.

He said, “In a symbolic gesture of the amnesty given to the 2,600 prisoners across Nigeria, 41 Federal prisoners and 29 FCT prisoners making a total of 70 prisoners who met the above criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja.

“This amnesty will not apply to prisoners sentenced for violent extreme offenses such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on.