Following media reports of alleged multimillion naira scam involving alleged purchase of #44 million per a seemingly rickety boat amounting to over a billion Naira, a call has been made for the suspension and arrest of the coordinator, presidential Amnesty programme Mr. Charles Quaker Dokubo and for a transparent investigation to be conducted by anti-graft agencies.
HURIWA is there by seeking what it calls a transparent investigation of the groundswell of allegations that the Presidential Adviser on the ‘corruption saturated’ Amnesty office for Niger Delta Professor Charles Dokubo approved the payment of N1.6 billion for 400 wooden canoes at N4 million per one canoe just as presently, there are claims that only 100 canoes were seen by the investigative journalist.
Similarly, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has cleared the proprietor of one of the foremost private universities in the South East of Nigeria Dr Gregory Ibe and his institution Gregory University Uturu, Abia state of involvement in any alleged money laundry charges involving the coordinator of presidential Amnesty programme Mr. Dokubo as reported by a United States based online newspaper recently. The group said it anchored its conviction on large amount of information available to our members regarding the highest integrity and credibility of both Gregory University and Dr Gregory One the proprietor.
HURIWA also noted that the said online newspaper in the United States of America published by a notable Nigerian journalist and a one-time Presidential aide in the immediate past federal administration has even pulled out the offending news item from its website which validates the unimpeachable defence made by Gregory University, Uturu, Abia state.
HURIWA stated that through the vice chancellor Professor Augustine Uwakwe, Gregory University Uturu, had robustly rubbished the online report in the following claims; “Our attention has been drawn to a malicious article credited to Pointblanknews with an equally libelous title ‘FBI Investigates Buhari’s Aide Over $10.5million Wire Fraud, #1.7billion in Safe Keep At Gregory University’.
HURIWA stated that the Gregory University without any shadows of doubts stated without equivocation that the linking of institution to the said article are scandalous, ludicrous, baseless, unfounded and at best a figment of warped imagination of the writer, intended to mislead the public while attempting to ridicule, lampoon and malign credible and reputable public figures and organizations. To set the records straight, we hereby state as follows.
HURIWA recalled that Gregory University Uturu has credibly proven to be a responsive stakeholder cum private sector key player in the education family licensed by the federal government in 2012 to partner government in providing entrepreneurial enlightment to the public and further recognized in 2017 as host institution for the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP). Also the Gregory University, HURIWA recalled has stated further as follows; That since the commencement of the PAP in our school we have remained committed to the enshrined ideals of the exercise, as encapsulated in the desire to reorient, empower and reintegrate Niger Delta youths into the mainstream of the larger society; That all tuition fees for the PAP delegates posted to our school are made by the Amnesty Programme office via a dedicated university bank account, which for transparency purposes remain in full view of interested stakeholders; That to the best of our knowledge the university is not under any form of investigation by FBI and therefore we hereby classify the publication as fake news and that they therefore demanded immediate retraction of the said publication by the promoters of Pointblank news within 48 hours of this release, failure of which our lawyers will have no other option than to commence litigation processes against the publishers for libel.
The foremost Rights group which believes that the initial misleading story may not have been published maliciously because of the longstanding good reputation of the publisher of the said online newspaper as a great professional media practitioner, has also stated that the group has closely monitored the trajectory of both Gregory University and the proprietor Dr Gregory Ibe and can state that the institution and the owner are law abiding.
“We urge media platforms owned by professionals to be circumspect and always stick to respect for objectivity, the truth and seek for balance for all investigative stories they are working on so the well-built reputation of some good and credible business men/women are not unwittingly rubbished. We call for a media practice that respects global best practices”.
HURIWA has however threatened to mobilize the civil society community in Nigeria to carryout law based civil rights action against the coordinator of the presidential Amnesty programme if president Muhammadu Buhari overlooks the huge body of accusations of fraud that characterize the running of Amnesty office and take cogent, immediate, comprehensive but verifiable steps to clean up the Presidential Amnesty office so the mandate for which it was set up would be achieved.