Fifty-six aggrieved ex-Niger Delta militants, who were beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, have dragged the Federal Government to court over four-year unpaid entitlements.
The amnesty beneficiaries prayed the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Special Adviser to the President on the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, to re-enrol them in the programme and resume the payment of their entitlements, which was stopped in 2015.
The counsel for the plaintiffs, Asobiyata Ojenamah, told journalists outside the courtroom that his clients approached the court after exhausting several avenues to address the situation proved abortive.
He added that his clients had been receiving their entitlements since 2009 when they were enrolled in the programme, but added that the payment was suddenly stopped in 2015, hence their decision to approach the court to order the continued payment of the stipends.
Ojenamah stated, “We brought the matter before the court, because our clients had been denied their entitlements as beneficiaries of the amnesty programme since 2015 after they were enrolled in the programme in 2009 after successfully concluding their rehabilitation and other requirements; but in 2015, their names were removed from the payroll in a most bizarre fashion.
“Since then, several letters and appeals had been transmitted to the Amnesty Office, but no response was given to them; so, it is high time they approached the court to enforce their rights.”
The presiding judge, Justice I. N. Sani, adjourned the matter till November 28, 2019, for hearing.