The Presidential Amnesty Office has dismissed as a fairy tale a news report by an online portal alleging that the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, recently asked the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, to relieve some staff of their appointments over leaked documents of a contract scam.
In the report published on Pointblanknews, it was further alleged that Dokubo told some unnamed senior officials of the Amnesty Programme that he got a directive from Buhari to sack some staff.
But in a swift reaction, Dokubo’s Special Assistant on Media, Murphy Ganagana, said in a statement on Tuesday that the report has no iota of truth but concocted to achieve a mischievous and sinister motive.
Ganagana clarified that the Office of the First Lady does not interfere in the affairs of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and at no time requested or directed Prof. Dokubo to sack any staff of the Amnesty Office.
Ganagana further noted that contrary to the report, no staff of the Presidential Amnesty Programme was sacked for any reason whatsoever, and there was no contract scam at the Amnesty Office.
The statement reads: “The report on Pointblanknews is standing truth on its head; its claim that Prof. Dokubo was tongue-lashed by senior officials of the presidency who queried him over leaked deals, is a wicked lie that could only emanate from the devil. Prof. Dokubo was neither invited nor queried by the presidency over leaked deals or documents and he did not get any directive to sack any staff of the Amnesty Office.
“The latest missile fired at Prof Dokubo and the Amnesty Programme by Pointblanknews is in reaction to a recent failed attempt which crumbled and missed its target following a lucid presentation of facts on the alleged N3.2billion contract scam by the Amnesty Office to members of the public. This has no doubt punctured the credibility of Pointblanknews, and like a wounded lion, it is splashing muddied water at Prof. Dokubo to smear him.
“We wish to reiterate that there is no contract scam in the Amnesty Programme and NO DIME was paid to the two companies as alleged by Pointblanknews, just as no staff has been sacked either on a directive by the First Lady or for any other reason whatsoever.
“However, it should be emphasized that as a public agency, staff of the Presidential Amnesty Programme engaged either as Consultants or Civil Servants are subject to Public Service Rules 030302 to 030306 relating to disciplinary procedures for misconduct.
“To this end, six staff of the Amnesty Office comprising four Consultants and two Civil Servants were recently suspended from duty for breaching provisions of the Public Services Rules and are expected to appear before a legally constituted panel in accordance with statutory procedure.
“While a Panel of Inquiry is yet to be constituted, Pointblanknews again, celebrated its ‘exclusive report’ on Prof. Dokubo and the Amnesty Programme, alleging that some staff of the agency had been sacked on the request of the First Lady. This is no doubt a disservice to the noble journalism profession, and the height of blackmail.
“The First Lady, Her Excellency, Mrs. Aisha Buhari is an embodiment of discipline, high moral standards, forthrightness and compassion. She is a beacon of hope to womanhood, pillar of encouragement and support whose modest contributions to national progress should be appreciated.”