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Again, court summons amnesty coordinator over alleged fraud

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A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa yesterday summoned Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Office, Prof. Charles Dokubo, to appear before it on January 21, 2020 over alleged fraud committed by the organisation.

Also summoned by the court presided over by Justice Awogboro Abimbola are Mr. Isaac Ityohuma and Mr. Aroloye Brown, Director of Finance and Accounts, and Head of Reintegration in the office.

The defendants were sued by 75 ex-militants under Benuwolo Camp who embraced the programme in 2010 during its second phase.

The judge noted that she had on September 26, 2019 summoned Dokubo, who doubles as Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta, over alleged diversion of stipends meant for the affected former militants.

Justice Abimbola ordered counsel to the coordinator, Pere Ikuetemi, to ensure that his client appeared in court on the next adjourned date for continuation of hearing.

The 75 ex-militants are demanding payment of their outstanding N65,000 monthly stipends from January 2011 to May 2019, amounting to N492 million.

They urged the court to declare as unlawful, the “alleged fraudulent manipulation of the 75 slots allotted to Benuwolo Camp by officials of the amnesty office in connivance with some other ex-militants.”

They had in their statements of claim filed by their counsel, Mr. Richard Turner, prayed the court to order the office to revert the 75 slots to the camp and halt the further diversion of the slots.

Meanwhile, the judge dismissed an application by two other ex-militants to be joined in the suit.

The applicants are Messrs Aso Tambo and Stephen Ebisintei.

They filed the application through their lawyer, Mr. Stanley Damabide.

The judge ruled that she found no merit in it, as the applicants were not a necessary part of the matter.

“I find no merit in the application, as the rule requires the inclusion of only those whose inclusion will ensure dispensation of justice.

“The application is hereby dismissed,” she ruled.


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