By Blessing Oyakhire
Eighteen former militant leaders from three states of the Niger Delta region, yesterday, sent a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged abuse of court process by the Presidential Amnesty Office in the ongoing four years litigation over their non-inclusion in the ongoing implementation process in the region.
The 18 aggrieved ex-militant leaders, drawn from Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states, stated that though a similar protest letter was sent to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo during the absence of the President, the actions and disposition of the Amnesty Office to the peaceful resolutions and disrespect to court process was provocative and vexatious.
The protest letter by the aggrieved ex-militants, Asenekiri Oyinle, Angiama-Owei Oyindoubra, John Government, Henry Gomoromo, John Sawyer, Trydi Okpeke, Dollar Motor, Selebi Ayowei, Bobra Angese, Ekerebi Umber and others, alleged that the sense of frustration and deceit played out during the era of Kingsley Kuku’s Amnesty Committee was sustained by the Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh Committee without due respect to the court process and orders.
According to the aggrieved ex-militants, the decision to send a separate letter to the President, was s line with their peaceful disposition towards the peace initiatives under the current administration, adding “Though we have witnessed the numerous achievements under the current administration of President Buahri and the Amnesty Office, the amnesty penchant for disrespect to the rule of law and court processes is causing agitation among our followers.
“The Amnesty Committee erred by refusing to include us in the ongoing amnesty programme after series of resolutions from meetings with the past and present National Security as at the time this suit was instituted. Instead of respecting the resolutions and directives from the National Security Adviser, the Amnesty Committee turned down the call to include the ex-militants and adopted a divide and rule tactics with the inclusion of three out of the 22 persons.
“We embraced the amnesty under the third phase in 2012 and have tendered our grievances before a competent Federal High Court with suit number FHC/YNG/CS/102/2013 in compliance with the peace preached by the Federal Government and the failure of the Presidential Amnesty Office to comply with court order to appear before the court and find way to settle out of court with the ex-militant is provoking renewed tension and frustration among youths of the region.”
The ex-militant said though the case against the Amnesty Office was adjourned till November 6, 2017, “The failure of the Amnesty Office to appear in court or settle out of court, as requested by us and ordered by the court, showed that the option left may not be desirable to the peace initiative secured by the current administration. We are peace loving leaders and resolved to draw your attention to the deliberate undoing of the peace in the region by the Amnesty office led by Brig. Gen. Boroh.”
It will be recalled that the aggrieved ex-militants in a statement of claim against the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee had sought the court order compelling the Amnesty Committee to approve reasonable slots for them as agreed at one of the peace meetings on December 19, 2011.
“For the court to compel the defendants to pay due allowances of the plaintiffs and their foot soldiers from March,2012 until the plaintiffs are fully settled under the Niger Delta Amnesty Committee. To compel the defendants to immediately send the plaintiffs and their foot soldiers for the mandatory skills acquisition training for the Niger Delta.”