A former Security Adviser to the Bayelsa State Government, Mr. Richard Kpodoh, on Sunday commended the leadership of the National Assembly for the decision to initiate a probe into how a total of N328 billion that was budgeted for the smooth running of the programme since 2009 was spent.
The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki had last week during the opening of a two- day Public Hearing on the Amnesty Programme organised by the Senator Peter Nwaoboshi led Senate Committee on Niger Delta indicated that that the Senate will probe the Amnesty fund and will not hesitate to sanction anyone found to have been responsible for the disappearance of money meant for the Amnesty Programme in the past.
Chief Richard Kpodoh, who has also served as Director of Operations and Senior Special Assistant on strategy and policy monitoring under Former Governor D.S.P Alameiseigha and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan respectively, stated in a statement issued in Yenagoa,said though the decision of the Senate to probe the amnesty fund is coming at a time the people of the region are angry over the poor implementation of the programme under the Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh led committee, the probe must be holistic and focussed on issues of inflated list of beneficiaries and the funding of training of ex-militants.
According to Kpodoh, ” though many Niger Delta Elders had written petitions and called the attention of the President,Muhammadu Buhari to the rot and fraud in the Amnesty programme under the various leadership including Brig. Paul Boroh without success, the decision by the Senate is timely and needed to redeem the image of the Anti-corruption campaign of the present administration.”
,” We are calling on the Senate Leadership to investigate at the Amnesty office under Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh because it stinks. Despite his affirmed incompetence, Boroh and his cohorts have plundered the Amnesty funds with inflation of number of beneficiaries, diversion of funds and tampered contract payment.”
“The criminal trail left behind by the former Amnesty Boss is being taken over under the present leadership. After disgraceful spending of Amnesty money,we are shocked that Brig. Paul Boroh is seeking supplementary spending. Buhari should,as a matter of policy, investigate how the last budgetary allocation was spent. How can the last allocation be expended without additional provision for inclusion of new beneficiries”
“Boroh has also been alleged to be pocketing a whopping sum of $700,000 in school fees for his ghost 20 ex-militants that he has fraudulently bloated to 70 delegates,” one of the ex-militants. A preliminary check at the amnesty office in Abuja revealed that there exists some level of conspiracy between some officials of the amnesty office and the contractor to corruptly enrich themselves.”
Also reported against Boroh, was a reported case of intimidation of petitioners with threat being by armed soldiers and that they would be delisted from the Amnesty payroll without a just issue against them.This is a clear case of gross misconduct against Boroh.”
Kpodoh also called on the Senate to investigate issues of non competence and misuse of unspent Amnesty fund through hosting of seminars,meetings and lectures not needed,” when the issues of renewed militancy started,the incompetence of the Amnesty Boss was known but instead of gathering genuine stakeholders to assist the present administration. He was busy organising seminars and nonchallant meeting with little funds.