Tony John, Port Harcourt
Fifty-six aggrieved former Niger Delta militants have dragged Federal Government to court over non-payment of their allowances for the past four years.
The plaintiffs, who were beneficiaries of amnesty programme, prayed the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Special Adviser to the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, and Heritage Bank, to re-enrol them into the programme and resume payment of their entitlements stopped in 2015.
Counsel for the plaintiffs, Asobiyata Ojenamah, told journalists outside the courtroom yesterday, that his clients approached the court after several attempts to address the situation failed.
“We brought the matter before the court because our clients had been denied their entitlements as beneficiaries of the amnesty programme since 2015, after they were enrolled into the programme in 2009, after successfully concluding their rehabilitation processes and other requirements. But, in 2015, their names were removed in a most bizarre fashion.
“Since then, several letters and appeals had been transmitted to the amnesty office, but no response was given to them. So, it was high time they approached the court to enforce their rights”, he declared.
The trial judge, Justice I. N. Sani, adjourned the matter till November 28, 2019 for hearing.