The Auditor General of the Federation has queried the management of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, over alleged diversion and irregular withdrawal of N1.05 billion from the coffers of the academy.
The query is contained in the 2018 Audited Report of the Auditor General being considered by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts.
According to the report, audit observed N457 million released to the academy on 13th December 2012 was irregularly diverted to a UBA account number 1006476693.
The Auditor General further observed N608 million was also irregularly withdrawn from a bank without stating the purpose of the withdrawal.
The query reads: “Audit observed that the sum of N 457million released to the Academy on 13th December 2012 was irregularly diverted.
“All efforts made by the Audit Team to sight the bank statement, supporting documents for utilization of the fund and other relevant details proved abortive.
“No response from management as at the time of this report. Risk diversion of funds is illegal and deprives the government of resources.
“The Rector is required to recover the sum of N457,657,293.12 irregularly diverted into a private account and furnish recovery particulars. Sanctions within Financial Regulations 3106 should apply.”
The second query reads: “Audit observed N608million was irregularly withdrawn without stating the purpose of the withdrawal.
“Management’s response: No response from management as at the time of this report. Risk diversion of public fund for purposes other than intended.”
However, Rector of the Maritime Academy, Duja Effedua, when he appeared before the panel, said the allegations were “grievous” but that none of the staff of the academy was ready to talk to him about what transpired regarding the audited report.
“I came to kick start something I don’t have any information about. I want an ad-hoc committee to be set up to get to the root of the matter,” he said.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide however gave Effedua three weeks to supply the panel with relevant documents to help it determine the veracity or otherwise of the allegations contained in the audit report.