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Niger Delta amnesty team point accusing fingers

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There is disquiet and pointing of fingers in the Niger Delta region over why N2.8 billion given to a contractor to train Niger Delta ex-militants was converted to loan by the Presidential Amnesty Programme between 2012 and 2013.

Also of concern is how fund meant to train 319 Niger Delta youths ended up in the private accounts of individuals and non-government agencies.

Niger Delta amnesty team point accusing fingers

Kingsley Kuku and Goodluck Jonathan
According to Vanguard, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has already interviewed some people including bureaux de change owners and bank officials as to why the money meant to train youths in the maritime industry is missing.

Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) was the company awarded the contract to train the ex-militants and it claimed that it successfully carried out the job after it received N5 billion from the federal government.

Prince Chibudom Nwuche who is the former deputy speaker of the House of Representative is the chairman of FYD and claimed he trained 50 ex-Niger Delta agitators in Tati University College Malaysia, 183 ex-agitators in Haipong Polytechnics College Vietnam and World Maritime University and 72 delegates at Copenhagen Malmo Maritime Academy Sweden.

He told the EFCC that N2.8 billion was taken out of the money as loan by Kingsley Kuku who was the special adviser to then President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta.

Nwuche said that after the success of the first training, his company got another contract on June 19, 2012 by for the training of ex-militants on Welding and Mechanical Engineering at Tati University College, Malaysia, Vocational Construction Training in Viglacera Vocational College, Malaysia on August 8, 2012 and the Training in Information Technology and Construction in Akademi Binnah Malaysia on September 17, 2012.

He claimed that as soon as Kuku paid him mobilisation for the jobs, he begged him to give him some money as loan so as to settle the stipends of ex-militants due to a shortfall in cash.

The company said: “On the 26th of March 2012, a request to intervene on students’ stipends and some ex-militant leaders was received from the Amnesty Office. The sum requested was for $1 million cash and N60 million was beyond the scope of FYD Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. A clarification was sought by Hon Chibudom Nwuche and the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Hon Kingsley Kuku, who made the request, then clarified that it was a loan request and would be paid back when the agency received funds from the Accountant General’s Office.

“We received various requests for loan for the payment of stipends to the ex-militants and their leaders and various stakeholders in support of the government Amnesty Programme and made disbursement to the tune of N2,864,584,979 on the instruction of the Special Adviser to the President, Hon. Kingsley Kuku between 26th of March 2012 and 3rd of May 2013.

“These requests were made by Kuku to the Chairman of FYD, Prince Chibudom Nwuche. The sum was disbursed to some beneficiaries known to Kuku and his intermediary, Dr. Iyamu, who was introduced to us as Liaison Officer on ex-militants and stakeholders matter. The period of these last disbursements was between the 10th of September 22 and 3rd of May 2013.”

In documents submitted to EFCC, IGP and the joint Committee of the House of Representatives on Niger Delta and Public Procurement, FYD “paid the cash as follows on Kuku’s instruction: 9/10/ 12- $2m withdrawn through Shilon BDC; 21/ 11/ 12—$1.4m from Abdullahi BDC; 26/3/12—$1m paid through DLH BDC Limited to Kuku’s aide, Dr. Iyamu 4/5/12 ($500,000); 22/11/12-cash of $1.2m through Gadlam Global Investment; $721,000 cash handed over to Iyamu on 5/3/2013 through Skyegate BDC; 17/4/13-cash of $2m through Cannew Nigeria Limited handed over to Kuku’s aide; and 19/4/13- about $758,000 handed over to Andrew by Hand to Hand BDC. 22/11/12——$300,000; 11/08/12- cash of $695,000; 11/9/12—$137,908; 20/11/12—$435,000; $500,000 through Nigare BDC.

“But on the 7th of December 2012, we demanded for refund of sum advanced and on the 21st of June 2013, we requested for the liquidation disbursement of the N2,864,584,979. Kuku complained of shortfall in budget passed by the National Assembly and promised to refund when supplementary budget is passed.

“We progressed with the screening of the delegates after substitution of training institutions, procured international passports, secured admission letters, made deposit for admission space and accommodation. When screening was being done, we sent another reminder to Kuku on 4th September, 2014. But a mail was received from Amnesty Office through Mr. Lewis Ekiyor to stop issuance of delegates to FYD.”

Nwuche said Kuku’s refusal to refund the money has thrown him into serious problem with the EFCC.

In his response Kuku admitted being involved in the contract but denied collecting any money .

“It is not true that I, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, the Former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, at any time, particularly while in office, received in whatever guise (loan or otherwise) any money for myself or on behalf of the Amnesty Office from a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chibudom Nwuche.

“The claim by Nwuche that I received money from him, by way of a loan advance to run the Amnesty Office amounting to the sum of N2, 864, 584, 979.00 is totally false. I deem this claim by Chibudom Nwuche as not just a figment of his apparently warped imagination but also provocative, spurious and preposterous.

“Indeed, I wish to aver that throughout the period I served as the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, I never ever took any loan either in my personal capacity or on behalf of the Presidential Amnesty Office from Hon. Chibudom Nwuche or any one for that matter.”

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