Ex-militants drag FG to court over unpaid amnesty stipends

The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Thursday, fixed November 8 to hear a suit filed by 11 ex-militants against an ex-militant leader, Emomotimi Ukparasia, popularly known as ‘General’ Africa, following non-payment of their amnesty stipends.

Also joined in the suit are the Federal Government, the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Gen. Paul Boroh (retd) and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The ex-militants, who were in the camp of Africa, are praying the court to declare that they are validly qualified beneficiaries of the amnesty programme.

They are also seeking a declaration that the defendants are liable especially Boroh for the payment of their allowances from October 2009 till the termination of the programme.

They are praying the court to mandate the defendants to pay “the sum of N65,000 multiplied by 11 persons being their monthly allowance from October 2009 to September 2012 amounting to N25.6million only and the total accruals of their allowances at the termination of this suit”.
In their statement of claims, the ex-militants averred that they accepted the amnesty declaration of the Federal Government, submitted themselves to the disarmament process and participated fully in the post amnesty orientation training at Obubra, Cross River State.

They said they were given three certificates each by the trainees who were contracted for the training by the government.

According to them, they were identified by Africa for admission into the camp and issued identity cards by the Presidential Amnesty Programme adding that having passed through the processes they became qualified to benefit from the programme.

They further averred that based on their qualifications, the defendants asked them to open accounts in different banks for the payment of their stipends.

“We concluded the training and ought to start receiving allowances from October 2009 till the end of the amnesty programme but have not received anything.

“Since we finished our orientation and were asked to leave the camp with promises that we would start receiving our allowances, we have not received any allowance or any other monies for any reasons related to the amnesty programme from the defendant or any other persons”, they said.

The suit listed the aggrieved ex-militants as Karibo Allen, Sunday Elijah, Utiki Claudius, Boukeme Nimitei, Kingsley Nichodemus, Leleindine and Sanga Sanga.

Others are James Godgift, Philip Bibinibeye, Joseph Macdonus and Allison Timi-Izuo.

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