The Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme says internal and external audits of its databases have uncovered “monumental” frauds in the payment of stipends and other funds to ex-agitators.
Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Strategic Communication Committee (STRATCOM), Nature Dumale, spoke on the discovery during a press conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Saturday.
Dumale noted that Major-General Tariye Ndiomu (Rtd), upon assuming office as interim administrator of the programme in September, initiated plans to renegotiate existing contracts with its vendors.
In the process, the spokesman added, Ndiomu had been able to save over N1.5 billion.
“He has shown greater commitment to the core values of the programme, hence was able to extract promises and commitments from sister agencies and stakeholders,” Dumale said.
“For instance, the Head of Service has promised to absorb 350 ex-agitators into the Federal Civil Service once the opportunity presents itself. Gen. Ndiomu has also initiated internal and external audits of its database.
“The auditors have uncovered monumental frauds, especially in the payment of stipends and other sundry funds, where an individual is receiving stipends meant for 33 persons through fraudulent means.”
Describing Ndiomu as proactive, the Amnesty STRATCOM chairman said the interim administrator had ordered the immediate verification process of all delegates to be carried out next week without further delay.
He urged delegates to rest assured that whomever is verified will be paid immediately.
“Gen Ndiomu (Rtd) has also indicated interest in resuscitating the vocational training centres for the training ex-agitators in specialised fields to provide middle-level manpower for the oil and gas industry.
“Gen. Ndiomu has concluded arrangements to complete the construction of four vocational training centres located in Bayelsa, Rivers Delta and Ondo states. These centres will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
“He is already discussing with potential technical partners for the projects. The experts are to manage the centres,” the Amnesty STRATCOM chairman said.