The Federal Government has debunked the claims of non-payment of monthly stipends to 61 Niger Delta ex-militants in the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Mr Murphy Ganagana, the Special Assistant (Media) to the President’s Special Adviser on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the PAP, Prof. Charles Dokubo, in a statement on Saturday, noted that a Warri-based law firm had on behalf of some unidentified persons acting under the aegis of Niger Delta Ex-agitators Forum petitioned the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
According to Ganagana, the petitioners attached a list of 61 persons said to be victims of the alleged fraud, who accused the Amnesty Office of refusal to pay monthly stipends and diversion of funds meant for training and empowerment of ex-agitators.
He added, “On receipt of the petition, a copy of which was addressed to Prof. Dokubo, he (Dokubo) promptly directed an investigation into the allegations.
“Following the commencement of investigation by officials of the Amnesty Office, a dramatic scenario is playing out as some of those listed denied knowledge of the petition. Among them is Amatelemowei, an Amnesty beneficiary whose name is number one on the list alleged to have been denied his financial entitlements and enlistment on a training programme.
“However, checks at the Amnesty Office on the list of 61 persons attached to the petition indicated that it comprised 40 beneficiaries enlisted into the amnesty programme under phase one, 20 beneficiaries under phase two, and a person from Akwa Ibom State not enlisted in the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”
Dokubo’s spokesman noted that out of the 60 persons on the list, which were verified as beneficiaries of the amnesty programme, 33 had already been trained in various areas awaiting empowerment, while the rest were “in the queue to undergo training soon.”