Appoint substantive Amnesty Coordinator, Niger Delta stakeholders urge Buhari

By Onozure Dania

Niger Delta stakeholders, on the platform of Niger Delta Restoration Alliance, NDRA, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the five-man investigative committee set up by the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), over corruption allegation against the former Amnesty Coordinator, Professor Charles Dokubo.

NDRA said the tenure of the probe panel set up on February 28 expired on April 24.

They called on Buhari to replace the committee by immediately appointing a substantive coordinator that will take the amnesty issues beyond paying stipends, sustain the existing peace and initiate security policies on behalf of Mr. President, and people in the region.

NDRA, in a statement in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, by Dr. Biewari Apulu, said the appointment of a substantive Amnesty Coordinator with superior supervision from the Presidency will reduce the scandalous cases of fraud allegedly perpetuated by past coordinators under wrong supervision.

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He wondered why investigators from EFCC, ICPC and DSS were all allegedly not invited to participate in the probe of the fraud and corruption allegations against Dokubo.

The group questioned the constitutional and prosecutorial authority of the Amnesty Caretaker Investigative Committee established by Monguno.

Apulu said: “The Niger Delta region comprises nine states with millions of experienced and qualified individuals.

“However, not even one person from the entire Niger Delta region was appointed as a member of the amnesty committee, for a programme that belongs to people in the region.

“Members of the Amnesty Committee have relatively no experience in dealing with ex-agitators and people from the region, since none of the committee’s member is from the Niger Delta region, which would have provided the committee with some insight to the severity of issues faced by ex-agitators, their families, and people in the region.

“The people of the Niger Delta region have lost faith and confidence with members of the investigative committee.

“The amnesty programme is beyond paying stipends, as there are numerous programmes that a substantive coordinator from the region can initiate on behalf of Mr. President, and people in the region will be grateful and appreciative of the President.”

Vanguard

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