SERAP wants Buhari to probe Niger Delta Amnesty Programme

Niger Delta militants

Niger Delta militants

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

14 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct appropriate government agencies to begin a thorough and effective investigation into allegation of corruption and denial of entitlement and allowances under the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme.

In the petition dated 10 July 2015 and signed by the SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, the organisation said it has received a petition from Mr. Sukore O Daniel, Mr. Ekperi Abel, Mr. Enodeh B. Eniyekperi, Mr. Ebaretonbofa J. Keme, Mr. Akperi Tamaraebi and Mr. Godspower A. Desmonds all of Patani Community in Delta State, alleging mismanagement of funds for the programme.

“The petitioners alleged that they have gone through the required training under the Amnesty Programme by the Federal Government.
Although the Amnesty Office has issued identification cards to the petitioners and the Office has collected their bank details, the petitioners have not received their monthly payment of N65, 000 (Naira) due to them under the Programme from November, 2011 to date,” the organisation said.

According to the organisation, “We are seriously concerned that the accrued allowances to the petitioners might have been stolen, diverted or mismanaged. We fear that these cases may not just be isolated incidents and that they are likely to be a broader pattern of corruption, and impunity, and are in large part the consequence of the previous government’s failure to address it.”

“We believe that the President can play a leadership role in helping to address the problem and ensure justice and fair play to those affected. Doing so will be entirely consistent the anticorruption policy of this government,” the organisation also said.

According to SERAP, “Nigeria has an obligation under international anticorruption treaties such as the UN Convention Against Corruption to which the country is a state party to investigate any allegations of corruption and mismanagement, as alleged by the petitioners in this case.

“SERAP believes that a thorough investigation to establish the truth will contribute to transparency and accountability, consistent with the policy of your government. It will also help to provide justice to those that have been affected.”

“SERAP therefore urges you to use your good offices and leadership to ensure that the allegations are thoroughly and transparently investigated, and to make public the findings of any investigation.

“We hope you will give this matter the urgent attention it deserves. We look forward to receiving from you information regarding the steps you are taking to address the issues raised in this petition,” the organisation stated.

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