An advocacy group, Niger Deltans for Accountability and Good Governance (NDAGG), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Brigadier-General Paul Tarela Boroh (rtd.), Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), and replace him with a credible Niger Deltan.
The position of the group was expressed in a statement signed on its behalf by its Secretary, Mr. Timi Angalabiri. According to the group, the Special Adviser has stolen billions of naira, intimidated indigenes of the Niger Delta and is incompetent. The group explained that since last June, it has furnished anti-corruption agencies with information-through petitions-indicating that Brigadier-General Boroh and his aides have bled the Amnesty Programme mercilessly.
On account of such petitions, said NDAGG, General Boroh, his fronts and aides have been indicted, with their accounts frozen or being forced to return stolen monies.
Mr. Erepade Fidelis Beggi an aide to General Boroh, according to the group, has had his bank account, with a N645 million balance, frozen. General Boroh and Mr. Beggi allegedly claimed that the money was meant to pay Niger Delta Avengers members. Mr. Beggi is also said to have returned N40million found in a separate bank account.
Also, Mrs. Faith Omofoma, the former Head of Vocational Training, has had N100million frozen in her account. Dr. Kenneth Ekeghie, a confidant of General Boroh, has been forced to return millions of naira. The Chief Security Officer to Special Adviser, Lieutenant-Colonel Olusegun Opeyemi Okungbure, is alleged to have defrauded the Amnesty Office of N145 million in 2016 by claiming he was taking operatives of the Department of State Security and Army officers to the hideout of wanted militant, Mr. Government Ekpemuopolo AKA Tompolo.
He also applied for and collected funds for the training of Amnesty Office security officers, who never got any training. The Chief Security Officer is said to have resisted every attempt to redeploy him from the Amnesty Office.He was allegedly redeployed to Jaji, Kaduna State, in June 2015, but refused to report to his duty station.
The duo of Majors Bernard Ocheche and Abdul are said to have returned hundreds of millions of naira to the investigating authorities. In the same boat is Mrs. Asari Alote, a former Director of the Foreign Desk at the Niger Delta Amnesty Office, who was recalled from her duty station in Qatar, where she worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was detained and made to return over N100 million.
According to the NDAGG, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major-General Babagana Mohammed Monguno (retd.), recently sent investigators to the Niger Delta to see if the Amnesty Office has farmlands and other agricultural programmes in the region, as frequently claimed by General Boroh. The group said the investigators did not find a single farmland despite an outlay of over N45 billion from 2015 to date.
Another allegation made against General Boroh and his aides is that he changed the names of the actual beneficiaries of the PAP and replaced them with over 4000 ghost names through which he has been pocketing N260 million monthly since 2015.
“Many of the beneficiaries whose names were removed by General Boroh and aides, have long commenced legal action,” said NDAGG.
The Director of Finance and Accounts (DFA) of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Aliyu Kareem, is said to frequently pay millions of naira into the accounts of select contractors from which the contractors will collect between 10 and 20 percent commission and return the remaining to an account operated by him and General Boroh.
“The sad part about this is that no job will be performed. Mr.Kareem openly demands payments from contractors, claiming that the Accountant-General of Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, brought him to the Amnesty Office purposely to deliver returns to him,” claimed NDAGG.
The group also alleged that job slots are sold by aides to the Special Adviser for between N200, 000 and N300,000. The Special Adviser himself, said the group, has sacked over 15 suspected whistleblowers in an attempt to cover his tracks. NDAGG stated that General Boroh’s claim that almost all ex-militants have been trained and empowered is false.
“How come he is still collecting billions of naira for 30,000 ex-militants? Is he insinuating that no one has died over these years?” asked the group.
It called on the President to direct the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, to redeploy Lieutenant-Colonel Okungbure from the Niger Delta Amnesty Office and make him face disciplinary action. The group also demanded that all public officials linked to the fraudulent schemes be made to account for their actions.