Amnesty Office to pay N463m to ‘ghost’ ex-agitators
There is brewing crisis in the Presidential Amnesty Office of the Niger Delta owing to an alleged move by the office to fraudulently pay N463.3m as claims of unpaid arrears from 2011 till date to a camp known as the Agbalababou camp of the Phase 2 amnesty program.
According to court documents filed by one Moses Lawyer, who claims to be the leader of the camp at the Federal High Court Yenagoa on October 3, 2019, the coordinator of the Amnesty Office and Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Prof Charles Dokubo accepted to pay half of the claimed sum to the claimants in order to avoid continuation of the case in court.
In the Terms of Settlement agreement entered into by Professor Dokubo and Ali-Bozi Tamarantare on one hand on behalf of the Amnesty Office and Moses Lawyer and Richard Turner, the Amnesty Office accepted to pay N238.6m (two hundred and thirty eight million, six hundred thousand naira).
However, an aggrieved leader of second phase of the Amnesty program, Comrade Steve Ebisintei has raised the alarm alleging that the terms of agreement on which the Amnesty Office is relying to pay the money is fraudulent. He is claiming that such arrears is fictitious and non existent.
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 work injustice against the finances of the federal government of Nigeria and defraud the federal government of Nigeria as it will be made to pay monies not being owed to the plaintiff on record.”
Comrade Ebisintei alleged that even the coordinator of the Amnesty Office is not aware of this fraud as according to him this fraud is being perpetrated by one Ali-Bozi Tamarantare, and other elements in the legal department of the Amnesty Office, in connivance with the claimant’s counsel.
“How do you explain that in the so called terms of settlement, such huge some of money is to be paid into the personal account of Barrister Richard Turner, the claimant’s counsel domiciled at Diamond/Access bank with account number 0016398219?
“Why is Ali-Bozi Tamarantare, a lawyer at the Amnesty Office hiding our ‘notice of joinder’ from the Coordinator knowing that Prof Dokubo will stop such fraudulent payment if this is brought to his notice?
“Our stand is simple, the federal government is about to be defrauded if nothing urgent is done. The attention of Prof Dokubo needs to be called to this so as to enable him avoid this pitfall”, Ebisintei said.