Looting of Amnesty Training Centre: Ex-militants demand probe of Federal Ministry of Justice officials

Posted by News Express | 11 August 2022 | 148 times

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A coalition of ex-militant leaders from the Niger Delta region have written to President Muhammadu Buhari over the alleged efforts by the officials of the Federal Ministry of Justice led by the Solicitor-General of the federation and Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Jeddy-Agba to frustrate the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) from filling proper defense against a suit filed by 15 companies accused of being involved 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 (NDABF), said instead of the officials of the Federal Ministry of Justice to support legal representation made by the Amnesty Office against the suits filed by the accused companies in the tune of N3.8billion, they were allegedly busy sabotaging the Amnesty office’s efforts in court by removing legal officers from PAP.

In February, 2019, the N60 billion amnesty training center was looted and plundered by some unknown persons and community folks, leaving the once bubbling empty of all training equipment and materials.

The National Coordinator of the forum, James Okori, in a chat with newsmen after a peace march to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Yenagoa,  Bayelsa State, claimed that thousands of beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme were suspicious of the sabotage by the Federal Ministry of Justice towards the issue of the looted N60 billion of the training center.

He said, “We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Security Adviser, the ICPC, EFCC, and DSS to investigate 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 that 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 fifteen companies for alleged unexecuted contracts during the tenure of the former Amnesty Coordinator, Professor Charles Dokubo which allegedly led to the five days looting of the N60 billion Amnesty training complex in February 2019.

“Presently, the Amnesty office does not have a legal adviser or competent legal representative. We strongly support the 124 Amnesty beneficiaries that have filed cases against these 15 companies in two Federal High courts in Abuja.

“The public must know that five companies out of the 15 companies that are suing the amnesty office are allegedly not registered with the corporate affairs commission. They are suing for N3.8 billion, plus 21 percent post – judgement, and they are also requesting for special damages which can go as high as N5 to N8 billion.

“The officials of the Ministry of Justice, individuals and the companies allegedly involved have conspired amongst themselves in defrauding and syphoning public funds, with the recent steps they have now taken further by filing different suits at the High court of Justice in FCT, claiming full payment of contract sum with 21 per cent post judgment and the sum of N100,000,000 as general damages, which we have reason to believe that all arrangements have been made to ensure that these reliefs are granted.

“Also, shocking is the fact that those saddled with the responsible of defending the federal government and any of its agencies, had now reneged from her oath of office and loyalty to the country and the good work your administration is doing, by ensuring that the 15 earlier mentioned companies get judgment against the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”(THISDAY)

 


Source: News Express

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