Niger Delta militants, under the aegis of Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), have alleged that the suspension of Professor Charles Dokubo, as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, might be a diversionary ploy to cover fraud in the scheme.
JRC spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, said: “We believe this is a phoney attempt at window-dressing the core issues and a poor attempt at surface dressing the many problems facing the Presidential Amnesty Programme today. It is impossible to have that scale of fraud, embezzlement, mismanagement and general malfeasance at the Presidential Amnesty Programme without active and coordinated connivance with the Office of the National Security Adviser.”
The group argued that the fact that two coordinators of the Programme have been sacked for fraud within two years (March 2018 and March 2020), shows that something was fundamentally wrong with the current architecture and supervisory framework of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“Whatever investigation must be carried out on the Presidential Amnesty Programme must be done directly by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and not through the Office of the National Security Adviser, who is also an Adviser to the President, just as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme doubles as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, which is a Cabinet ranking position,” the group said.
Whyte said JRC would want the Presidential Amnesty Programme to be removed from the supervision of the Office of the National Security Adviser and domiciled directly under the Presidency.