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It’s prerogative of president to add anyone to Presidential Amnesty Programme – Administrator

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Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) has told the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions that only the president has the prerogative to add anyone to the programme.

Dikio stated this in response to the petition by one Egberi Papa (aka Jack-Rich) who alleged that he was left out of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP.

The Interim Administrator said he was “a man under authority and that the president is the only person approved under the law to any person to the PAP.

The retired Colonel said he served the country meritoriously for 28 years before he retired voluntarily in 2004.

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“When I resumed duty as Interim Administrator on September 21, 2020, I was briefed on the petition by Jack-Rich. I want to affirm that we have 50 members of his camp that are paid regularly.

“I want to emphasise that not all camps have the same number. There are some camps that have 12. I’m not conversant on how they arrived at those numbers”.

However, the consultant to the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Dr. Ferdinand Ikwang who worked with Sarki Muktar, former National Security Adviser said he designed the PAP from the onset and also submitted allocation of ex-militants to states in the Niger Delta.

Although there are nine states in the Niger Delta, only five came on board, at the initial stage, with Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia states following later.

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He said “the president asked that 4,000 slots be allocated to each of these participating states and that was how it was done.

“As it concerns Egberi Papa, because that was what we knew him at that time and it is the name found in the system; Rivers State, where he comes from, has two camp: Iboro camp and DSS headquarters (ad-hoc) camp where the ex-militants dropped their arms.

“The total number of persons at the time who dropped their arms was 2,560 who formed the first batch of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, as 2,000 was given to NDDC.

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“Slots were allocated on state basis, not to individuals, so I was surprised when I got a call from Freedom, not Jack-Rich, that he didn’t have a slot in the PAP.

“After the disarmament, we noticed that some states have more people than others, but at that stage it was only the president that could give approval to add people”.

After listening to both parties and contributions of committee members, Chairman of the committee, Ayo Akinyelure advised the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to liaise with the presidency to ensure that Egberi Papa be accommodated since it is only the presidency that has the authority to do so.

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