Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to commence immediate investigation into the alleged corruption rocking the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme. Reports say beneficiaries of the programme have not been paid their allowances.
In a statement signed by its executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP said it received a petition from seven individuals from Patani community in Delta State, accusing the authorities of not paying them their entitlements four years after their integration into the government’s amnesty programme.
The petitioners – Messrs Sukore O Daniel, Ekperi Abel, Enodeh B. Eniyekperi, Ebaretonbofa J. Keme, Akperi Tamaraebi and Godspower A. Desmonds, according to SERAP wrote a petition, alleging that they have gone through the required training under the Amnesty Programme by the Federal Government.
According to SERAP, although the Amnesty office has issued identification cards to them and collected their bank details, they have not received their monthly payment of N65,000 due to them under the Programme from November, 2011 to date.
“We are seriously concerned that the accrued allowances to the petitioners might have been stolen, diverted or mismanaged. We fear that these cases may not just be isolated incidents and that they are likely to be a broader pattern of corruption, and impunity, and are in large part the consequence of the previous government’s failure to address it,” SERAP stated.
“We believe that the President can play a leadership role in helping to address the problem and ensure justice and fair play to those affected. Doing so will be entirely consistent the anti-corruption policy of this government,” it added.
The group noted that the country has an obligation under international anti-corruption treaties such as the UN Convention against Corruption to which the country is a state party to investigate any allegations of corruption and mismanagement, as alleged by the petitioners in this case, adding that a thorough investigation to establish the truth will contribute to transparency and accountability, consistent with the policy of the present government.