The Ijaw Youth Council and militant former Niger Delta leaders have attacked the Senate Public Accounts Committee over its threats to issue an arrest warrant against those responsible for the presidential amnesty program, including its acting administrator , Colonel Milland Dikio (retired. ).

The punch reported that the Senate Public Accounts Committee headed by Senator Matthew Urhogbide decided to issue an arrest warrant against Dikio following his refusal to honor his invitation to account for N10 billion earmarked for the scheme.

The IYC expressed surprise that the committee claimed the warrant was to compel Dikio to appear before it to explain an alleged N10bn not accounted for by Amnesty’s office contained in the Auditor General’s 2018 report.

IYC Abuja Branch President Adam Marbo, in a statement made available to our correspondent in Port Harcourt on Monday, described the Senate committee’s stance as a witch hunt, saying the IYC was amazed that the report mentioned by the committee was based on the transactions that took place during the 2015 financial year.

He said the transaction and the audit report took place years before Dikio was appointed as the plan’s acting administrator.

He said: “We can remember that Dikio was appointed towards the end of 2020. The Senate is investigating a transaction that took place at the Amnesty Office in 2015, but which was mentioned in the report of the Auditor General of 2018.

“The case does not concern Dikio at all. Why did the Senate Committee become so obsessed with Dikio that they descended into the arena of desperation with the threat of an arrest warrant?

Similarly, the former militant leaders in a statement signed by the president of the ex-first phase agitators, Henry Binidodogha; and Chief Andabafa Namah, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired), to hold the Senate accountable should anything go wrong in the relative peace experienced in the Niger Delta.

The statement said in part: “We want to say that this decision (to invite Dikio or to arrest him) is capable of causing a breakdown of public order in the Niger Delta region.

“We have never seen anyone run this amnesty program since its inception like Colonel Dikio did. And so we see the invitation of the Senate as a witch hunt because the affair happened in 2018 and as then Dikio was not in charge of the program.

“Even with the misdeeds he encountered, he did not blame anyone or accuse anyone, but worked earnestly, transforming the program and positively affecting people’s lives, especially beneficiaries of the presidential amnesty program.”