The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited the former Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Jauro for questioning.
Although the agency did not make public the reason why he was invited, findings revealed that his invitation might not be unconnected with the role he allegedly played as the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of NIMASA during Patrick Akpobolokemi’s administration.
Akpobolokemi who is standing trial for the fraudulent conversion of funds meant for projects for NIMASA into personal use was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2015.
In October 2015, Jauro said he had been questioned by the anti-graft agency. He also disclosed that funds were disbursed from the agency without his knowledge.
He said, “In fact, I was the first person to be interviewed by the EFCC as the Executive Director in charge of Finance and Administration.
“When the EFCC came, I told them all they wanted to know, and they left. What they wanted was for me to tell them what I knew and what was on ground and I told them some of the things I am just telling you.
“Another thing I want to say is that at a time, the mandate for the control of our resources was watered down. I travelled and when I came back, all the other EDs were made signatories to the account of NIMASA, which should not be in normal circumstances.
“When I raised the issue, I was told that there was need for us to trust one another and work together. I said but I could not go and sign releasing of ships, I could not go and sign anything on cabotage, now they were signing money. I said I hoped they will do it well and that is why some payments that were made I did not see them, other signatories effected them.
“The budgets were prepared, heads of units would sign and they do not come to me, they only come to me when it is for signing for payment, which other people could do. I told the EFCC all these things.”
Meanwhile, Ijaw people in the Niger Delta on Tuesday kicked against the appointment of Dr. Dakuku Peterside, as the Director General of NIMASA, warning that any attempt to scrap or relocate the Maritime University from Okerenkoko in Delta state to any other part of the country will be resisted.
In a statement by the National President of Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRAC), Alaowei Cleric, the Ijaw group reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that governance laden with nepotism and favoritism of a particular section to the disadvantage of others would jeopardise the corporate existence of the nation.
The statement reads in part; “Every ethnic nationality that makes up this federation has equal stake in the Nigerian Project and thus every section should be given equal treatments.
“Therefore, the appointment of Dr. Peterside Dakuku as the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) by President Muhammadu Buhari, should be a blessing and not a curse to the people of the Niger Delta.”
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.