The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, has granted a Presidential pardon to popular musician Alhaji Amadu Bah, commonly known as Boss La.
Bah’s pardon was announced on Saturday, April 1, 2023, in a State House press release to mark the April Fool’s Day.
According to the statement, the RFM Rapper was released pursuant to S. 40 (4) (e) and S. 63 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6, which grants the President the power to pardon prisoners at correctional centers across the country through his prerogative power of mercy.
“Pursuant to section 63(1)(a) of Act No. 6 of 1991, President Bio has granted a Prerogative of Mercy to Alhaji Amadu Bah, alias ‘LAJ’,” the statement read.
The Prerogative of Mercy has its roots in British custom, where it was first used by the king as a type of retroactive mercy. The Prerogative of Mercy, currently a discretionary power normally held by the monarch or head of state, is used to lessen the severity of sentences or correct injustices; most frequently, offenders may be pardoned or have their sentences commuted.
The last time President Julius Maada Bio exercised this power was on January 1st, 2022, when controversial magician Baimba Moiforay, popularly known as L.A Chocolate, and one hundred and sixty (160) inmates were released from the Pa Demba Road correctional center. A year earlier, Bio had used the same power to pardon former Defense Minister Alfred Palo Conteh, who was found guilty of unlawful possession of a handgun and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
There were speculations that Bio would exercise the same power in January 2023 to release some “political prisoners.” However, this did not become a reality due to controversies that trailed the previous Presidential pardon.
In a twist of events, President Bio has decided to pardon Boss La to “score political points” ahead of the 2023 Presidential elections, according to State House sources.
WATCH VIDEO OF HIS RELEASE
Recall that Boss La was sentenced to nine years imprisonment on Friday, February 17, 2023, after being found guilty on all four counts of charges levied against him, which included robbery and assault contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
Before his sentencing, Boss La accepted responsibility for the crimes he was convicted of and pleaded for mercy.
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