President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) as Interim Administrator of the Amnesty Programme, implying that Col. Milland Dikio(rtd) who was ordered to be arrested by the senate over alleged N10bn funds misappropriation has been sacked.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, on Thursday evening, September 15, 2022.
The statement which confirmed the appointment of Ndiomu as the new administrator of the Amnesty Programme, was, however, silent about Dikio’s sack.
Recall, that in July 2022, the upper chamber ordered the arrest of Dikio and other officials of the Presidential Amnesty Programme over their alleged failure to account for N10bn meant for the programme.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Account, Senator Matthew Urhogbide, said the decision became necessary following the failure of the scheme’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dikio (retd.), to honour the committee’s invitation.
The senator noted that the committee had invited Dikio based on the query raised against the programme in the 2018 report of the Auditor General of the Federation.
However, the statement which confirmed Ndiomu as a replacement for Dikio, stated that he hails from Odoni in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He was admitted to the Nigerian Defence Academy as part of the 29th Regular Combatant Course and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1983.
He held several command and staff appointments in the course of his military career before he retired in December 2017.
“Gen Ndiomu also trained as a lawyer, and is an alumnus of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry, Harvard Kennedy School, and George C Marshall Centre for European Security Studies, among others,” the statement said.
The Presidential Amnesty Programme was established by President Musa Yar’Adua’s administration in 2009 as part of the government’s measures to reduce militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. Its aim was to persuade militants to give up their arms for amnesty and reintegration.
Thirty thousand former militants had been enrolled into the programme so far. Sixty-five per cent of them are currently under training, while 65 per cent have been successfully reintegrated, according to the information on the programme’s website.
It was said that about 113 former militants had been helped to secure employment in maritime, welding and fabrication companies at home and abroad.