Hundreds of Ex-militants and key stakeholders from the Niger Delta region have threatened to stage a peaceful protest to Abuja to draw the attention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, to the need for the immediate sack of the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Maj. Gen Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd.) over series of alleged fraud and misconduct at the Amnesty office.
According to the aggrieved stakeholders, Ndiomu, whose tenure expired on 29th May 2023, is provoking rising tension among stakeholders and beneficiaries of the programme.
They also alleged that the Amnesty Boss is allegedly pitching the people of the region against the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu with a claim that he was directed to pay to the sum of N1.7billion to some 15 companies allegedly belonging to one Jacob Aminu Momoh for the alleged fraudulent and unexecuted contracts at the ₦60billion Amnesty Training Complex that was looted for an uninterrupted period of 5days in Boro-Town, Kaiama, Bayelsa State in 2019.
The Amnesty Training Complex in Boro-Town, Kaiama, Bayelsa State was however on February 14, 2019, intentionally vandalised and looted for an uninterrupted 5days allegedly by criminals and looters with no police or military personnel on ground to stop the hoodlums. Jacob Aminu Momoh and his 15 companies were the major contractors at the facility which had a permanent station and presence of military security officials.
Built by PAP office to tackle the main challenges in transforming non-skilled ex-militants into a technically skilled workforce, the centre was to be formally opened penultimate week before the vandalism and looting, which left many residents of the state in shock.
The fifteen companies and one Jacob Aminu Momoh had filed suits in an Abuja Federal High Court seeking an order against the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to pay for the alleged unexecuted contracts in the amount of ₦3.8billion, plus 21 percent post–judgment fees, and special damages which can go as high as ₦5billion to ₦8billion.
Some Niger Delta stakeholders and beneficiaries also approached the court seeking to be joined in the suit claiming that the list of beneficiaries presented by the 15 companies as evidence of the distributions of empowerment tools to purported Amnesty beneficiaries in the nine states of the region have been faulted by the Presidential Amnesty Office and declared unauthenticated and fake.
Also the Presidential Amnesty Office, in a letter replying the request from a law firm, Messrs. Folurunsho Aweda and Associates with reference number FAA/AMN/ABJ/MISC/29/8/22 and dated 29th August, 2022, after going through the list of names of beneficiaries as tendered by the 15 companies in connection with the distribution of empowerment items, “the acknowledged stamp shown on the list of beneficiaries forwarded by your law firm for authentication differ from the standard stamp used by PAP to receive and acknowledge documents for vendors.”
Fresh facts, however, emerged from sources within the Presidential Amnesty office that the memo directing the Interim Administrator, Maj. Gen Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd.) to pay the 15 companies and Jacob Aminu Momoh the sum of N1.7b instead of the demanded sum of N3.8billion is causing a row across the region and the Amnesty office.
Sources confirmed that the Interim Administrator, Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd.) is complaining to close advisers and aides about the directive from the office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, claiming that, “I am ordered by NSA to pay ₦1.7billion out of the ₦3.8billion fraudulent, unexecuted Kaiama contracts, the case is still in court and the action will be sub-judicial.”
Already, former Militant Leaders from the Niger Delta region and key stakeholders from the region and members of the Peace Advocacy group, the Niger Delta Peace Advocacy group, under the aegis of the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) are seeking Ndiomu’s immediate removal from office over alleged series of fraud running into tens of billions of naira.
The elders, traditional rulers and ex-militant leaders from the region accused Maj. Gen Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) of engaging in deliberate campaign of calumny against the newly appointed and respected NSA, Nuhu Ribadu, “though I don’t work in the Presidential Amnesty office, but we have been getting first-hand information on the last minute and desperate attempts to cover up alleged fraud and initiate new ones through illegal contract awards and unholy deductions from beneficiaries of the Amnesty cooperative scheme and Scholarship scheme.”
“You have read about the last minute award of a N2.9 billion contract for the training of 139 pilots to Alom Aviation Limited, two weeks to the end of his tenure.The contract award has raised concerns as it appears to violate the Procurement Act 2019, as amended, which mandates a 30 per cent mobilization fee for contracts.”
“Despite years of complaints and petition for a review of the budgetary spendings and performance of the Interim administrator and the Amnesty office, the sustained investigation showed that the interim status attached to the Presidential Amnesty programme may have been responsible for the under performance, years of fraudulent diversion of funds and protests by the Amnesty beneficiaries over monthly stipends and unpaid scholarship fees.”
“We have pointed out that for the President’s vision to be impacted in the lives of beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, he should immediately direct the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu to suspend or sack Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd.) as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and in his place, appoint the most senior civil servant to take over the running and administration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme pending the appointment of a substantive coordinator.”
A proper check of the Amnesty programme will reveal an ongoing alleged systematic and criminal diversion of funds allocated to the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) by officials of the Amnesty office led by the Interim Administrator, Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd.) and some senior civil servants in the office where various signatures are forged and billions in payments made.
According to the group, a close check has recently revealed a systematic negotiation with over 3,548 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty programme whose names, slots and payments were fraudulently stopped last year by the Amnesty office over alleged fraud.
Those illegally delisted by the Ndiomu led office are from King Ateke’s camp:, 287, GOC Tompolo’s camp: 227, General Boyloaf’s camp: 80 making a grand total: 3,548 and equals N230,620,000.00 per month.
“Without any form of legislative virement which is against the law to divert and spend budgeted monies for other non-related purpose, the funds of at least ₦2.7billion have all been allegedly looted by Ndiomu and his associates, as not a single individual beneficiary of the PAP in one whole year has been trained or empowered by Ndiomu, this is madness, where are all the billions of naira?”
Also, other ex-militant leaders’ camps affected by the delisting included those belonging to Pastor Reuben Wilson, Abraham Ingobere (AKA Lami – Speaker, Bayelsa State Assembly), Eris Paul (AKA Ogun-Boss), Joshua Maciver, and others. The National Coordinator of the MSDND however alleged that the Ndiomu led Amnesty office had secretly engaged in negotiation with the affected camps to forfeit some of their slots and get short paid of all outstanding monies,” the other monies will belong to unknown officials at the Amnesty office.”
“It is a shame that the agencies saddled with anti-graft responsibilities have been reduced to accomplices as their officers have connived with the perpetrators in sharing the loot. We are calling on you the National Security Adviser to recommend to the President Bola Tinubu, GCFR, to immediately suspend the interim administrator Maj. Gen Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd.), and all the aforementioned accomplices and to investigate and bring them all to book.
“While we are calling on President Bola Tinubu to put the arguments to bed by ordering a proper check of the accounts of the Amnesty office, we urge him to sack Ndiomu of the Amnesty office to allow probity.