The House of Representatives Wednesday resolved to set up an adhoc committee to investigate corruption allegations against Charles Dokubo, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs.
Dokubo who coordinates the Presidential Amnesty Programme has been accused of inordinate moves to siphon the funds of Programme through some contractors by the Director, Finance and Accounts of the Office, Ilem Iyam.
The resolution to probe Dokubo was reached by the House while considering a motion titled: “Urgent Need to Investigate the Fraudulent Activities in the Presidential Amnesty Programme” sponsored by Tajudeen Obasa from Lagos State at the plenary.
Agreeing that the Amnesty Programme’s office recently received the sum of N8.5 billion, the House also expressed concerned over “media reports and outcry of massive looting at Kaiama Amnesty Centre between 14 and 16 February, 2019, where security agents, the coordinator of the Centre and unknown persons were alleged to have carted away equipment worth billions of Naira in the Starter Pack Warehouse allegedly to the knowledge of the Special Adviser on Amnesty to the President”.
Obasa while moving the motion noted that, “the Presidential Amnesty Programme is a lofty initiative introduced by the federal government to quell armed struggle by Niger Delta Agitators for a better deal in the nation’s oil producing areas;
“Aware that the Programme’s cardinal objective is to grant pardon to agitators and to rehabilitate them through productive ventures in order to build capacity, capabilities and competence in the youths of the Niger Delta
“Informed that since the proclamation of the Amnesty Programme, the federal government has spent a lot of resources in training many youths of the area both locally and internationally; and recently, the federal government paid the sum of N8.5 billion into Presidential Amnesty Programme’s TSA account for the execution of this lofty idea;
“Also concerned about the media reports of massive corruption and outright embezzlement of funds meant for the execution of the Programme’s objective, hence it has become imperative to investigate these allegations for the good of the Niger Delta people and the nation at large
“Further concerned that failure of the House to act timeously could lead the Amnesty Programme to suffer wreckage and the essence of the Programme eroded”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the House when committed to voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara while two weeks were given to the adhoc committee which is yet to be inaugurated to conclude its assigned and report back to the House for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, a group, Niger Delta Interest Watchdog rose in defence of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs absolving him of any inordinate moves to siphon the funds of Amnesty Programme through some contractors.
The group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Daboikiabo Warmate expressed surprise that the name and personality of Dokubo could be dragged to the mud by his staff who accused him of colluding with contractors for frauds.
“We were shocked to read a publication on an online platform, pointblanknews which claimed that, an insider in the presidential amnesty office told its reporter that, the assassination attempt on the director of finance & accounts, Mr. Illem on Friday 26 April, 2019, was orchestrated by the special adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs & Coordinator presidential amnesty programme Professor Charles Dokubo because, Mr. Illem refused to pay contractors owed the sum of N1.8 billion that are allegedly fronting for the SA.
“The information at our disposal revealed that, the special adviser before embarking on a trip gave the DFA discretional powers to pay contractors owed by the office. The SA on return requested to see the list of contractors paid, but the DFA refused to oblige him the list. This gross act of insubordination & abuse of the discretional powers given to the DFA by the SA was the genesis of the rift.
“We are concerned as Niger Deltans that believe in the quality leadership being provided by a son of the soil, our brother the special adviser to the President & coordinator, presidential amnesty programme professor Charles Dokubo at the presidential amnesty office.
“Therefore, we vehemently condemn totally the deliberate attempt to malign the person and office of the SA whom the President found worthy of the responsibility he’s saddled with.
“The questions we should be asking are: Why will he want to kill him as alleged? Does a contractor owed by the amnesty office have the right to request for him to be paid? Does the SA have the powers to give directives to the DFA? And refusal to take directives from a superior is called what?
“A man with a sound mind & moral as Prof. Charles Dokubo can and will never imagine talkless of involving himself in such a dastardly inhuman act of assassinating a subordinate. He is a political, peace & conflict resolution analyst. The imaginators & orchestrators of this irrational allegations has gone below human reasoning.
“And contrary to the allegations, the SA has no company or contractor fronting for him and has not split any contract at any time since his assumption of office.
“For the unfortunate looting of the amnesty warehouse, Boro town by unknown persons, the appropriate authorities are handled the matter.
“The DFA presumably has ignorantly fallen into the hands of some political Chess Masters who are using him as their pawn, on the political Chess board. It’s the case of the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob.
“We hereby call on the SA not to be deterred by detractors from his excellent and sterling performance. He should continue to use his good conscience and expertise to work more for the peace and development of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large.
“We therefore, urge the general public to disregard the fabricated allegations sponsored by some power hungry persons. We commend president Muhammedu Buhari and the national security adviser for the support given to the coordinator, presidential amnesty programme”, the statement read.
James Kwen, Abuja