The Presidential Amnesty Office On Niger Delta may have been thrown into crisis following an alleged scam to fraudulently pay N463.3 million as claims of unpaid arrears to ex-militants in a camp known as the Agbalababou camp of the Phase 2 amnesty programme.
Court documents filed at Federal High Court Yenagoa on October 3, 2019, by one Moses, copies of which was made available to journalists, indicate that the coordinator of the Amnesty Office and Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Prof Charles Dokubo had accepted to pay half of the claimed sum to the claimants to stave off further litigation on the matter.
Several attempts to reach the spokesman of the Amnesty office, Murphy Ganagana was unsuccessful as calls placed on his number were not responded to.
According to purported Terms of Settlement agreement entered into by Professor Dokubo and Ali-Bozi Tamarantare for the Amnesty office, and Moses Lawyer and Richard Turner, for the claimants, the Amnesty Office agreed to pay N238.6 million (two hundred and thirty eight million, six hundred thousand naira).
However, Comrade Steve Ebisintei, an aggrieved leader of the second phase of the Amnesty program, has raised the alarm alleging that the terms of agreement on which the Amnesty Office is relying to pay the money may not be genuine. He is claiming that such arrears are fictitious and fraudulent.
In a motion on notice he and one Sampson Opuakpo filed on October 22, 2019 to be joined in the terms of settlement, he claimed that “the execution of the Terms of Settlement’ agreed by parties in the substantive suit will not serve the course of justice and that the federal government of Nigeria could be defrauded in the process.
“The federal government of Nigeria will be made to pay monies not being owed to the plaintiff on record,” he claimed.
Comrade Ebisintei alleged that even the coordinator of the Amnesty Office is not aware that this fraud is being perpetrated allegedly by one Ali-Bozi Tamarantare, and other elements in the legal department of the Amnesty Office, in connivance with the claimant’s counsel.