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Opinion

Allege N3.5billion Amnesty Cooperative fraud: Rejig Amnesty office, sack Ndiomu now – Ex-Militant leaders write Tinubu, Ribadu

Stakeholders and Ex-militant leaders under the aegis of the Movement for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) have written to President Bola Tinubu and the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu to rejig the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and officially remove the interim administrator, Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) for effective and proper delivery of it’s security mandate to the region.

The group also pointed out that the interim administrator’s tenure has elapsed since the 29th May 2023 and therefore he is supposed not to continue to remain in that office.

According to the Stakeholders and Ex-Militant leaders, it is sad and retrogressive for the present administration to review policies, rejig structures and appoint substantive heads of other institutions, boards and organisations without considering the rot, fraud and maladministration ongoing at the Presidential Amnesty Programme to deserve immediate attention and change.

The Ex-militant leaders under the aegis of the Movement for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND),in a statement to newsmen in Port Harcourt by its National Coordinator, Chief Ayibatekena Olodin, said enough is enough and demanded the immediate removal of Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) and the appointment of a substantive Coordinator of the Amnesty programme for effectiveness, probity and accountability.

“In his quest to allegedly defraud the Amnesty Programme and believing that the incoming President Tinubu’s administration will immediately remove him from office on or after 29th May 2023, he cunningly setup the Presidential Amnesty Cooperative Society Limited on Wednesday 24th May 2023 seeming to empower Niger Delta youths with an initial setup fund of ₦1.5billion and arrangements were made for a monthly deposit into the cooperative’s account of ₦500million, and within four (4) months totaling ₦4billion with Providus Bank; yet to date, only 500 Amnesty beneficiaries have been empowered with the sum of ₦1million each totaling ₦500million, with ₦3.5billion allegedly missing.”

he PAP had in May, launched the N1.5 billion cooperative scheme for ex-agitators with an additional N500 million deposited in the account monthly.

PAP’s Interim Administrator, Major General Barry Ndiomu while launching the scheme had described it as a novel scheme called the Presidential Amnesty Programme Cooperative Society Limited, (PAPCOSOL) in favour of the ex-agitators to the tune of N1.5 billion.

He said the Cooperative already has over N1.5 billion deposited in Providus Bank noting that the Programme looks forward to injecting N500 million monthly to sustain the PAPCOSOL.

He said the agricultural and manufacturing sectors were its target in providing grants for the ex-agitators

But the MSDND, in it’s statement called on security and anti-graft agencies to invite the PAP Anchors of the Cooperative (PAPCOSOL) Mr. Zigha Ayibakuro and Major Akpos Marshall for questioning on the whereabout of the ₦2.5billion allegedly missing from the Cooperative’s account. The security agencies should place watch and Ndiomu on all travel restriction to ensure justice is achieved.”

MSDND also stated that despite months of complaints, petitions and revelations of allege diversion of billions of Amnesty funds, non-payment of beneficiaries stipends and institutional fraud under the present management led by Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd), “it is saddening that it is only the PAP that has remained untouched and unattended to by the present administration despite complaints and serious allegations of fraud.”

“Maj-Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu, Rtd, has completely bastardized the Presidential Amnesty Programme and has neglected the real beneficiaries of the programme. The original beneficiaries of the programme that are officially captured are abandoned for others that are not part of the programme.”

The MSDND, while insisting that President Bola Tinubu and the NSA, Nuhu Ribadu take a closer scrutiny of the Amnesty office, declared support for the petition previously written by the various aggrieved groups including Chief Olotu Owei of the National Coordinator of Niger Delta Conscience.

The Niger Delta Conscience group had in a published protest accused Ndiomu claims over his claims of no money to pay genuine contractors for work done, while the office of the Accountant-General of Federation (OAGF) paid N10.2 billion to the PAP Office in December 2022.

“Can Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd) give account of his stewardship of these funds and the previous allocations for September, October, and November 2022 respectively? Bearing in mind that the office gets a monthly allocation of N5.4 billion.”

MSDND also pointed out that instead of responding to the allegations of diversion of money,fraud and misconduct, “Ndiomu sponsor frivolous groups to embark on image laundering and divert attention from issues. He pays some fraudulent inviduals to cover up his misdeeds”

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