From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A coalition of former militant leaders from the nine states of the Niger Delta has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over an alleged plot to frustrate the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) from filing proper defence against a suit instituted by 15 companies accused of alleged involvement in the 2019 looting of the Amnesty Training Centre, located in Kaiama community of Bayelsa State.
The ex-militants under the aegis of the Niger Delta Amnesty Beneficiary Forum said instead of the Federal Ministry of Justice officials to support legal representation made by the amnesty office against the suits filed by the accused companies in the tune of N3.8 billion, plus 21 per cent post-judgment fee and also requesting for special damages which can go as high as N5 billion to N8 billion, they are busy sabotaging the amnesty office’s efforts in court by removing legal officers from PAP.
National Coordinator of the Niger Delta Amnesty Beneficiaries Forum, James Okori, in a chat with newsmen in Yenagoa after a peace march to the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State chapter, said thousands of beneficiaries of the PAP are suspicious of the sabotage being put in place by the Federal Ministry of Justice towards the issue of the looted N60 billion amnesty training centre in Kaiama, Bayelsa.
“We are calling on President Buhari, the national security adviser, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and Department of State Services to investigate the officials of the federal justice ministry over their alleged role in removing the legal adviser and other legal officers from the amnesty office.
“We suspect these officials may have been compromised by the accused companies. The removal of the legal officers attached to the presidential amnesty office at this moment of such suit by the accused showed an alleged sabotage against the amnesty office from defending themselves against the N3.8 billion lawsuit brought against the amnesty office by 15 companies for alleged unexecuted contracts during the tenure of the former amnesty coordinator, Charles Dokubo, which allegedly led to the five days looting of the N60 billion amnesty training complex in Boro-town, Kaiama, Bayelsa State in February 2019.