By Jacinta Nwachukwu/Uche Bibilari
Prof. Charles Dokubo, Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has inaugurated a six-man Special Investigative Panel to probe the invasion and looting of training equipment at its vocational centre in Kaima, Bayelsa.
Inaugurating the panel on Monday in Abuja, Dokubo said that the investigative team chaired by retired Brig-Gen. Sotunde Songonuga, would ascertain among others the remote and immediate cause of the looting.
According to him, on Feb. 13, the eve of commissioning the PAP’s vocational training centre in Kaima, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Bayelsa, unknown persons overpowered security personnel guarding the centre.
They looted all movable government assets in the facility, Dokubo said.
He said that preliminary findings showed that items carted away by the looters included assortments of equipment procured and already installed in the centre for seamless training of ex-agitators enlisted in the programme.
He said that the training enlisted for ex-agitators and other youths in the Niger Delta were carpentry, hotel and catering management, tailoring, shoemaking, welding and fabrication, event planning, decoration and hair dressing.
“Our initial findings also revealed that post-training empowerment start-up packs warehoused in sections of the vocational training centre in Kaima were completely looted by these persons.
“The plunderers even proceeded to thoroughly vandalised the completed lecture halls, administrative block and other structures in the centre.
“I was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to help deepen peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta and not to kill Niger Delta people.
“I do not regret not asking the soldiers, the police and other security agencies deployed to Kaima to shot at sight persons seen or caught looting.
“But I want the perpetrators of this nefarious act severely punished according to laid down laws of our great nation.
“And this is why the panel is constituted and we shall provide them with whatever they need to do their job effectively,’’ he said.
Dokubo, however, said that the panel is expected to offer practical suggestions on ways of preventing a recurrence of the incident in the vocational centre.
He also said that the panel has seven working days to complete and submit its report.
Songonuga in his response, pledged readiness of the members to do the needful and unravel the circumstances surrounding the looting.
“ I promise to work with the team to give a detailed report of the looting without fear or favour. We will give an insight on what actually happened,’’ he said.(NAN)