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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently order the investigation of the alleged N48 billion reportedly spent by the office of his Adviser on Niger Delta and Coordinator of Amnesty Programme, retired Brigadier General Paul Boroh since he assumed office.
The Presidential Amnesty Programme under the leadership of its new Coordinator, Brigadier-General Boro (Rtd) has allegedly blown away N48 billion within few months of his appointment on sundry expenditures including exotic armoured cars, in spite the dwindling economic fortunes of the country currently.
The association said there have been widespread allegations of serious violations of due process and the consequential abuses of procurement law by the Amnesty Office in the last couple of months, adding that unmitigated extravagance must be effectively checked and all indicted officials made to face the full wrath of the law.
The group added that the fact that the office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Programme seeks to justify these outrageous expenditures which by and large may have violated extant procurement and transparency laws is abominable and unacceptable in the first place.
HURIWA said the series of such near sleazy acquisitions by a public official, particularly when viewed against the present troubling financial times in Nigeria is reprehensible, condemnable and unsustainable.
The association further noted that the trend must be questioned by the anti-corruption authorities because the purchases are allegedly clear breaches of the Nigerian monetization policy as well as a breach of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act since a Special Adviser is not allowed to reach such a phenomenal thresholds of authorizing payments for projects and purchases amounting to multi-million naira.
The group also queried the idea of paying outrageous amount to Westerfield, a local firm to offer  pre-University Matriculation Examination (UME) lessons to repentant ex militants preparatory to writing  the University Matriculation Examination  (JAMB) this year.
“Moreover why pay over N500 million to an offshore consultancy firm to prepare would-be beneficiaries of the Niger Delta amnesty programme when a lot of final year students who are undergoing scholarships abroad are being recalled for lack of funds to foot their tuition fees. This is an unmitigated and an unpardonable misadventure”, HURIWA said in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf.
The association equally expressed shock over the whopping figures revealed in the annual report, which the two Senate committees was scheduled to have reviewed along with the Amnesty Office’s 2016 budget  of the Amnesty Office  last week which indicated that Boro who took over from Kingsley Kuku as Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme under the current administration, in just five months awarded contracts worth about N40 billion.
“The exotic official car was reportedly acquired from Wada Autos Limited at the princely sum of N55 million and full payment has since been made. How on Earth can an official of government that has told the World that it needs to borrow from World Bank to even pay public workers to now be identified as a man who loves ostentatious lifestyle at the expense of the distressed beneficiaries of this Niger Delta Amnesty Programme?
“President Muhammadu Buhari must ensure that the relevant agencies of law enforcement and anti-graft agencies are allowed to immediately swing into action to recover these scarce public fund that are being frittered away on frivolous items by the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Programme Brigadier General Boro”, the group further admonished.
The group observed that the present administration of President Buhari which is demonstrably  preaching strict adherence to the procurement Act to avoid corruption and economic crime that have almost crippled the economy of the country, cannot afford to keep a blind eye to this ugly development.

“It amounts to extravagant expenditures of the most crudely and inordinate form for the Special Adviser to President who is serving a government battling to come to terms with how to meet up with the welfare needs of the millions of Nigerians and build enduring infrastructures for posterity  because of fast dwindling falling asking international prices of crude oil to now be seen to have actually blown away N48 billion within few months of his appointment on frivolities including official cars when he actually reportedly inherited from his predecessor Mr Kingsley Kuku a brand new Toyota Land cruiser”, HURIWA  stressed.

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