BREAKING NEWS: Amnesty Programme: Ex-Niger Delta agitators sue Nigerian Govt over unpaid entitlements

Amnesty Programme: Ex-Niger Delta agitators sue Nigerian Govt over unpaid entitlements

Amnesty Programme: Ex-Niger Delta agitators sue Govt over unpaid entitlements

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About 183 former Niger Delta agitators have filed a against the over allegations bordering on alleged stoppage of their monthly allowance.

The 183 ex-militants, in 17 separate suits filed by their counsel, Regina Okotie-Eboh, before Justice James Omotosho, also joined the coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, in the matter.

In one of the suits marked: FHC/ABJ//675/2023 dated Dec. 5, 2023 but filed Dec. 6, 2023, an ex-agitator, Benneth Ofeyena, sought a declaration that he is entitled to the mandatory monthly stipend of N65,000 as beneficiary of Phase 2 of the PAP.

He said the programme was initiated by the Federal via the Amnesty Proclamation Notice issued in 2009 upon a truce reached between the government and the ex-agitators.

He also sought a declaration that the defendants' failure and/or refusal to pay the monthly stipend of 65,000 from October 2012 till to him as a beneficiary is illegal and unlawful.

The ex-militant, therefore, prayed for an order directing the defendants to pay to him the sum of N8,255,000.00 representing the mandatory monthly stipend of N65,000. 00 for the period from October, 2012 to April 30, 2023.

He also sought an order directing the defendants to pay to him the mandatory monthly stipend of 65,000.00 from May, 2023 till date.

Ofeyena equally sought an order directing the defendants to pay N5 million each as the cost of filing the suits

In the other 16 separate suits before Justice Omotosho, the ex-agitators sought the same reliefs.

They told the that they had been beneficiaries of the Federal Government's amnesty programme since 2009 when it was initiated by the late President Umaru Yar'Adua's administration and wondered why the payment of the N65,000 was stopped despite yearly budget of over N60 billion appropriated for the said programme by the Federal Government.

In the 16 other suits, some of the plaintiffs include Oyemo Ezi, Suru Michael, Albert Tamaraudouye, Alex Sile, Allen Ikiyou, Aaron Williams, Abisere Alfred, Amuluku Daniel, Amuluku Julius, Belele Karina, among others.

When the matter between Benneth Ofeyena against Maj-Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd.), ex-Interim Administrator of PAP, and Federal Republic of , listed as 1st and 2nd defendants, was called, the sole plaintiff, Ofeyena, gave his testimony as prosecution witness before Justice Omotosho.

Justice Omotosho admitted the documents tendered in evidence and marked them as exhibits.

After cross-examination by PAP , Babatunde Alajogun, and counsel for the Federal Government, Maimuna Lami-Shehu, the judge adjourned the matter until May 6 for the defense to open their case

It would be recalled that President Bola had, on Thursday, appointed Dr Dennis Otuaro as new administrator of PAP

Otuaro replaced Ndiomu, who had served as interim administrator of the programme since September 2022.

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