Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, has subpoenaed the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof Charles Dokubo, to personally appear before it on October 4, 2019, over allegations of diversion of amnesty slots and unpaid stipends.
This is as some 75 ex-militants under Benuwolo camp in the 2nd phase of the amnesty scheme, who accepted the Presidential Amnesty in 2010, have dragged the Presidential Amnesty Office to court, for diverting their slots and accruable stipends since 2011.
The ex-militants, led by Mr Clinton Oroupade, are demanding payment of outstanding N492,375,000 being accrued stipends for the 75 members of the camp from Jan 2011 to May 2019.
At the inaugural hearing on Thursday, the Presiding Judge, Justice Awogboro Abimbola, ordered Prof. Dokubo to appear before her on October 4th, with the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Amnesty Office, Mr Isaac Ityohuma, and Head of Re-integatration in the Amnesty Office, Mr Aroloye Brown.
The ex-militants in their statement of claims filed by their Legal
Counsel, Barr Richard Turner, told the court that the 75 plaintiffs were documented and allocated 75 slots but received no stipends afterwards.
Turner, who tendered several documents and affidavits from prior efforts by the Amnesty office to resolve the issue by reverting 10 of the 75 slots before the court, urged the court to declare that the alleged fraudulent manipulation of the 75 slots allotted to Benuwolo camp by the Amnesty Office, in connivance with some ex-militants as unlawful.
He also urged the court to order the Presidential Amnesty Office to revert the 75 slots of the Benuwolo camp, and halt further diversion of slots by the office.
Counsels to the Presidential Amnesty Office, led by Barr. Tamaratarei Ali-Bozi, did not object to the documents tendered.
The judge adjourned the case to October 4th, 2019, for continuation of hearing after taking evidences from Clinton Oroupade, who served also as a Plaintiff’s witness.
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