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Yar’Adua grants militants unconditional amnesty…frees Henry Okah

,others standing trial
By Daniel Idonor

ABUJA – AFTER several weeks of preparation characterised by crucial meeting at both committee and presidential levels President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua today  proclaimed the much touted declaration of amnesty as recommended by the Presidential Panel on Amnesty and Disarmament for Militants of the Niger-Delta, thereby legalising the government’s grant of amnesty to the youth.

In a statement: “Amnesty Proclamation”, personally signed by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the government stated that “in pursuant to section 175 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,  Whereas the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria acknowledges that the challenges of the Niger Delta arose mainly from the inadequacies of previous attempts at meeting the yearnings and aspiration of the people, and have set in motion machinery for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta States;

Whereas certain elements of the Niger Delta populace have resorted to unlawful means of agitation for the development of the region including militancy thereby threatening peace, security, order and good governance and jeopardising the economy of the nation;

militants2
Whereas the Government realises that many of the militants are able-bodied youths whose energies could be harnessed for the development of the Niger Delta and the nation at large;

Whereas the Government desires that all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in militancy in the Niger Delta should return to respect constituted authority; and

Whereas many persons who had so engaged in militancy now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon;

Now therefoer, I, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after due consultation with the council of States and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by the provisions of Section 175 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, make the following proclamation:

I hereby grant amnesty and unconditional pardon to all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in the commission of offences associated with militant activities in the Niger Delta;

The pardon shall take effect upon the surrender and handing over of all equipment, weapons, arms and ammunition and execution of the renunciation of Militancy Forms specified in the schedule hereto, by the affected persons at the nearest collection centre established for the purpose of Government in each of the Niger Delta States;

The unconditional pardon granted pursuant to this proclamation shall extend to all persons presently being prosecuted for offences associated with militant activities; and

This proclamation shall cease to have effect from Sunday, 4th October 2009.

Below is the full test of Amnesty Proclamation:

AMNESTY PROCLAMATION
Pursuant to Section 175 of the

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Whereas the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria acknowledges that the challenges of the Niger Delta arose mainly from the inadequacies of previous attempts at meeting the yearnings and aspiration of the people, and have set in motion machinery for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta States;

Whereas certain elements of the Niger Delta populace have resorted to unlawful means of agitation for the development of the region including militancy thereby threatening peace, security, order and good governance and jeopardising the economy of the nation;

Whereas the Government realises that many of the militants are able-bodied youths whose energies could be harnessed for the development of the Niger Delta and the nation at large;

Whereas the Government desires that all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in militancy in the Niger Delta should return to respect constituted authority; and

Whereas many persons who had so engaged in militancy now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after due consultation with the council of States and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by the provisions of Section 175 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, make the following proclamation:

I hereby grant amnesty and unconditional pardon to all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in the commission of offences associated with militant activities in the Niger Delta;

The pardon shall take effect upon the surrender and handing over of all equipment, weapons, arms and ammunition and execution of the renunciation of Militancy Forms specified in the schedule hereto, by the affected persons at the nearest collection centre established for the purpose of Government in each of the Niger Delta States;

The unconditional pardon granted pursuant to this proclamation shall extend to all persons presently being prosecuted for offences associated with militant activities; and

This proclamation shall cease to have effect from Sunday, 4th October 2009.

MADE UNDER MY HAND THIS _______________DAY OF ___________________________________________ 2009.
UMARU MUSA YAR’ADUA


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