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Court summons Amnesty boss, others for alleged diversion of slots, funds

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A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State yesterday summoned Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) over alleged diversion of slots and stipends meant for 75 former militants.

Also summoned to appear before Justice Awogboro Abimbola on October 4, are Director of Finance and Accounts and Head of Reintegration in the Presidential Amnesty office, Isaac Ityohuma and Aroloye Brown.

However, Abimbola adjourned the case to October 4, 2019 for continuation of hearing after taking evidences from the ex-militants’ leader, Clinton Oroupade, who also stood as a prosecution witness.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 75 ex-militants under the Benuwolo Camp in the second phase of the scheme, who accepted the Presidential Amnesty in 2010, took the defendants to court.

The militants are demanding payment of outstanding N492 million for the 75 members of the camp from January 2011 to May 2019.

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, Oroupade told the court that his group was documented and allocated 75 slots, but received no stipends afterwards.

He tendered several documents, agreements and affidavits from prior efforts by the Amnesty office to resolve the issue by reverting 10 of the 75 slots before the court.

However, lead defence counsel, Tamaratarei Ali-Bozi, did not object to the documents tendered.

The group urged the court to declare that the alleged fraudulent manipulation of the 75 slots allotted to Benuwolo Camp by officials of the Amnesty Office in connivance with some ex-militants as unlawful.

The militants had in their statement of claims filed by their Counsel, Richard Turner, urged the court to order the Amnesty Office to revert the 75 slots and stop further diversion of slots by the office.


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