A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa has dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the Federal Government, the Presidential Amnesty Office and office of the Interim Administrator, Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (retd) against a 10 years old suit brought by aggrieved ex-militants over alleged exclusion from the Presidential Amnesty programme.
The Amnesty Office and the Federal Government had predicated their objection on the fact that the issue was statute barred.
Justice Isa Dashen who gave the ruling however granted an order for the accelerated hearing of the suit filed by six aggrieved ex-militants and others and adjourned further hearing till June 15 2023.
The aggrieved ex-militants from Delta, Edo and Bayelsa, who filed the suit include Asenekiri Oyile, Trydi Okpeke, Henry Gomeromo, Angiama-Owei R. Oyindoubara, Bobra Angese and Ekerebi Ombe and others. They claimed in their suit that while many others with similar issues of non-inclusion have been settled out of court by the Amnesty office due to their alleged threats to resume hostilities, some officials of the Presidential Amnesty office since 2013 have been frustrating efforts to settle the ongoing suit out of court with the nineteen aggrieved ex-militants.
They argued in their statement of claims that “the Presidential Amnesty office erred by refusing to include us in the ongoing Amnesty programme after series of resolutions from meetings with the past and present National Security Advisers, Late General Owei Azazi and Col. Dasuki Sambo respectively. “Instead of respecting the resolutions and directives from the National Security Adviser, Dasuki Sambo, the Amnesty Committee turned down the call to include us and adopted a divide and rule tactics with the inclusion of three out of the 22 persons”.
The aggrieved ex-militants therefore sought an order of court compelling the Amnesty Committee to approve reasonable slots for them as agreed at one of the peace meetings held on 19th December, 2011.
They also want the court to “compel the defendants to pay due allowances of the plaintiffs and their foot soldiers from March,2012 until the plaintiffs are fully settled under the Niger Delta Amnesty Committee. And to compel the defendants to immediately send the plaintiffs and their foot soldiers for the mandatory skills acquisition training for the Niger Delta militants.”