Ghana’s President John Mahama has granted amnesty to 900 prisoners to mark Republic Day which falls on Wednesday, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of the Interior.
The statement, released on Tuesday, said the pardon was granted based on ill health, advanced age and satisfactory behaviour of inmates.
Those pardoned were made up of 883 first offenders of good behaviour who have served half or more of their sentences, one elderly prisoner, and one prisoner who is very ill.
Also 14 prisoners on death row who have served at least 10 years have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, and one prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment who has served 10 years has had his sentence commuted to a definite term of 20 years.
The statement said President Mahama asked them to conduct themselves properly to avoid breaking the law again while he urged the general public and families of beneficiaries to receive the pardoned prisoners back and help integrate them into society.
Ghana achieved its Republican status on 1 July 1960.