A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government and the office of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Implementation Committee, to respond to the suit filed by aggrieved ex-militants from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states over alleged exclusion from the on-going amnesty programme.

The ex-militants, Asenekir Oyile, Angiama-Owei Oyindoubra,John Government, John Sawyer, Trydy Okpeke, Dollar Motor, Selebi Ayowei, Bobra Angese, Henry Gomeromo and Ekerebi Ombe, in their suit, claimed that the Amnesty Committee erred by refusing to include them in the on-going programme after series of resolutions from meetings with the past National Security Advisers to the President, Late General Owei Azazi and Col. Sambo Dasuki.

The ex-militants, in suit, FHC/YNG/CS/102/2013, filed at the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, declared that they were former militants that had accepted Amnesty under the Third Phase and surrendered their weapons to the Federal Government through the Amnesty Office in 2011 under the peace initiative of the Federal Government.

In its sitting yesterday, the presiding judge, Justice H.A. Nganjiwa, ruled in favour of the ex-militants on the plea for an extension of time on the notice to file counter motions against the preliminary objections filed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and the office of the Amnesty Implementation Committee.

Justice Nganjiwa, after hearing the submissions of the counsel to the ex-militants, K.O.Seriaki, on the two separate motions in response to the preliminary objections, issued an order compelling the Federal Government and the Amnesty Office to be given a 14- day ultimatum to respond to the addresses filed by the plaintiffs. Justice Nganjiwa, however, adjourned the matter to November 10, 2015 for further hearing.

Speaking after the court sitting in Yenagoa, counsel to the ex-militants, Mr. Seriaki, commended the judiciary for granting the motion by the plaintiffs for an extension of time, noting that “the 14 days handed by the court is an avenue for the Federal Government and the Amnesty Committee to respond on the point of law and the next sitting of the court would be to rule on the preliminary objections raised by the first and second defendants.”

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