The Presidential Amnesty Office is being rocked by a raging controversy over N1.9 billion deducted from trainees and beneficiaries of the programme.
Investigations revealed that the alleged fraud involves the Office of the Head of Reintegration of the office.
The N1.9 billion was alleged to have been deducted from contracts that were executed under the Train, Employ and Mentor Programme initiated by a former interim administrator, Col Dikio.
Under the TIEM, the beneficiaries of the programme were to be trained, employed and mentored to prevent them from straying after the programme.
Investigations revealed that when General Ndiomu (Retd.) took over, there were 1,200 delegates in training which he stopped.
He was said to have conducted graduation for all of them as he was under instruction to bring the programme to an end.
It was gathered that the contracts were renegotiated and the Reintegration Department removed the ‘Employ and Mentor’ component with the promise that the beneficiaries would be outrightly empowered.
It was gathered that the Integration Office deducted funds from the contracts and kept N1.9 billion meant to empower the delegates.
After waiting endlessly for the outright empowerment, the beneficiaries and office staff were complaining that the N1.9 billion component deducted from the contracts had been diverted by the office.
Investigations revealed that the contractors included Bradama International Skill Works Limited (400 delegates), Sunup Logistics Limited (200) delegates, Krisdera Agro Allied Farms, (200 delegates), Teecentenel Nigeria Limited (110), Betrieb Limited (50,) and Vika Farms Limited.
Some delegates under Krisdera Agro-Allied Farms and Teecentennel Nigeria Limited that were interviewed pointed accusing finger in the direction of the head of reintegration.
After renegotiating with the contractors and deducting a substantial amount from the contract sum, they went to the various training centres to offer each delegate 750k to completely delist them from the Amnesty Programme.
The delegates, it was learnt, collectively rejected the said amount.
The office promised to get back to them, but all to no avail.
The amount deducted from the negotiations with the contractors was N1.9 billion.
They claimes he was responsible for the mastery around delay or disappearance of their two months in-training allowance which had earlier been paid by the office to the contractor for onward disbursement to the delegates.
Our investigation revealed that instruction was given to the contractors to withhold the money since the delegates did not complete the eight months they were initially required to spend.
That money has not be returned to the government coffers.
It was further gathered that the Head of the Amnesty Office has directed the security unit to seize the phones of Amnesty staff for investigation because of the purported “leakage of information” and his clash with Chief Timipre Sylva.
The investigation commenced today two weeks ago
Penultimate week, all the staff of the office were made to tender their phone for scrutiny by the head of the office.
Some of the delegates who resisted the move and threatened to file a case against the office were redeployed.
The meeting held in December 2022 and since then the delegates have been kept waiting.
There are fears that the money may have been diverted.
Some of the delegates who came to protest in Abuja were molested with military personnel with military tanks temporarily hired by Indiomu to stop the delegates at all cost.
The concerned delegates who fear they might not receive the money are calling on the office of the NSA which supervises the PAP to look into the books of the agencies.
When contacted on the phone of the allegations, the spokesman of the office, Freston Akpo said: “The allegation is frivolous and unfounded. It is part of on-going smear campaign in the media to discredit the interim administrator and his team.”