Twenty-two former militants have filed a suit before an Abuja High Court against the Federal Government, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Amnesty, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, claiming N500 million damages.
Lawyer to the plantiff, Mr. Emeka Uchegbulam, said the suit was to cover for the hardship and frustration suffered by the applicants as a result of the discrimination, abandonment and neglect by the respondents.
Uchegbulam, who filed the suit on behalf of one Andrew Joel Azazi and his group, asked the court to make "an order that the prior, present and further refusal to pay monthly stipend to the applicants and members of his group after they have been discarded like every other ex-militant who had undergone training in their respective camps is discriminating, unconstitutional and a violation of their fundamental human rights'
The plaintiffs further want "an order restraining the respondents from carrying out further acts of discrimination against the applicants".
The plaintiffs also want the court to mandate the respondents to commence payment of stipends to the applicants and their members like other ex-Niger Delta militants and to pay same the arrears of their stipends from the date of their respective disarmament till the date judgment is delivered while mandating the respondents to commence training of the applicants and their members on education and skill acquisition like other ex-Niger Delta militants.
Azazi was said to be the leader of the Bakassi Freedom Movement, camped in Akwa Ibom State and led a 558-member group in his camp. The other leaders of the group are Mr. Gift Tare, who operated in Azagbene, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State; Mr. Marcus Ayayebe operated in Otobo Camp, Kpakiama Delta State; Mr Bobra Angese operated Akpolokia Camp in Otungbo, Bayelsa State, and Mr. Kerebi Ombe was in Aya Koroma town, Origbere Delta State.