From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has launched a probe into fraudulent activities of some contractors and vendors engaged by the scheme to train and empower ex-agitators.
The Interim Administrator, PAP, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, who confirmed the development in a statement he signed at the weekend, said already preliminary investigations had uncovered acts of fraud perpetrated by some of the contractors.
He said the office expanded its investigations to determine the extent of the scam and the involvement or connivance of internal elements in the fraud.
Dikio who said the ongoing probe would not stop the payment of contractors, whose documents had been verified, explained that payments would be made immediately expected funds were released to the office.
The amnesty boss explained that before the end of last year, the office sequentially paid 104 contractors owed by the scheme, adding that payments would continue based on availability of funds till every genuine contractor received their money.
The statement read in part “Presidential Amnesty Programme has uncovered unsavoury acts of fraud perpetrated by some vendors/contractors. The office is currently investigating these activities to determine how widespread and the extent of involvement or connivance with internal elements within the programme.
“While this investigation is ongoing, it will not stop the payment of those whose contracts and documents have been verified and reconciled as soon as the expected funds are released.
“However, It will be recalled that before the close of the year 2020, the Presidential Amnesty Programme had sequentially paid a minimum of 104 contractors that had hitherto been owed. This process will continue until everyone is paid what they are owed, subject to the availability of funds.
“It must be noted that while the continuing process is evidence of the PAP’s commitment to its mandate which covers the delegates, the investigations will continue to ascertain the issues that gave rise to this allegation.
“Meanwhile vendors/contractors whose contracts have not been revalidated, have not received an approval to self-fund or been mobilized for their respective contracts are advised to suspend and maintain the status quo”.