Immediate past Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Hon. Kingsley Kuku, has raised the alarm over moves to link him with terrorist acts and stockpiling of arms in the country.
The former presidential aide, in a press release on Friday, said in their desperation to hang him to the stakes, some hawks in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are conspiring with security agencies in the country to arrest him at the airport upon his return to Nigeria on charges bordering on terrorism.
Kuku stated that the alarm became necessary following an online media report by a spectral Kano-based group, National Security Watchdog, which claimed that “there was incontrovertible evidence linking (me) to terrorist acts and illegal stockpiling of arms.”
The group also called on the Attorney-General of the Federation to initiate proceedings for my extradition in order to face terrorism charges.
“The claim by this group must not be taken lightly by either the government or well-meaning Nigerians. This is because a few months ago, I received information that a security agency was plotting to link me with acts of terrorism falsely. This information with the evidence is already before a law court, for which the security agency has denied. It is therefore not a coincidence that a shadowy group in the name of National Security Watchdog was created to reinforce their claim.
“As a peace-loving Nigerian, I have worked for the peace, progress and prosperity of our dear country over the last one and a half decades. I am therefore shocked that such dastardly and criminal activity could be linked to me.
“Having failed to gather concrete evidence of misappropriation of funds against me, these persons are now fishing for evidence to link me with terrorism. They will definitely fail again.
“Since 2007 when I was appointed Secretary of the Federal Government Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger Delta, I have rendered committed and selfless service to Nigeria.
“It is on record that during my tenure as Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the Niger Delta were reduced to the barest minimum. Working with the state governments in the region, stakeholders, prominent ex-agitation leaders as well as security and intelligence agencies of government, we were able to contain the ugly spectre of criminality, kidnapping and related crimes in the Niger Delta. It is rather unfortunate that just six months after the Goodluck Jonathan administration left office, insecurity in the region has risen sharply,” Kuku stated.
The former PAP boss maintained that he is neither a fugitive nor is he on the run. So, the call for his extradition is equally curious and irresponsible.
“I have been out of the country undergoing a medical procedure and will definitely return home. My present location is known to the government and even the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that has invited me.
“But, importantly, there are two subsisting order of an Abuja High Court and that of a Federal High Court in Lagos asking all security agencies to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending the determination of the matter before them. The courts granted these reliefs in defence of my fundamental human rights, which have been threatened by some overzealous state institutions.
“Unfortunately, some persons with scant regard for the rule of law are taking actions that will ultimately discredit the Buhari administration. These include acts of intimidation of individuals that have either worked under me or were awarded genuine contracts in compliance with due process during my tenure at the Amnesty Office with the aim of implicating me. I have evidence to back this claim.
“Let me clarify that while in office, I was neither a member nor chairman of the evaluation committee that dealt with companies or contractors and made their recommendations to the Tenders Board, which statutorily had career civil servants as members. Whatever was done under my watch as head of a novel security stabilization programme was based on the recommendations of these statutory officials and committees. However, I did make approvals with a proviso for proper checks before implementation/execution.
“For emphasis, as a programme without any precedence, we could have made some honest mistakes, which we corrected as we went along. We therefore expect our successors to equally correct whatever mistakes they also discover.
“The amnesty programme was a security programme and it was so treated under President Jonathan. That was why our level of success was high. I sincerely urge President Buhari to treat the programme in same light to ensure and sustain the security and stability of the region as it was under former President Jonathan.
“Regardless, I remain undaunted because my achievements and record of service will speak for me. The lives and future of over 5000 Niger Delta youths who we were able to deploy to world-class universities home and abroad as well as the pilots and mariners we trained just to mention a few will also speak for me before the end of the next decade. My hope in God Almighty and the judiciary remains strong,” Kuku said.
HON. KINGSLEY KUKU
FORMER SPECIAL ADVISER ON NIGER DELTA/CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENTIAL AMNESTY PROGRAMME