October 1, 2022

Maritime Today Online

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PDP asks Buhari to suspend NIMASA DG over alleged N1.5tr fraud

Court of Appeal President lauds Jamoh's commitment to admiralty matters

The Peoples Democratic Party has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the suspension of the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, to enable him face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged looting of N1.5 trillion and $9.5 million dollars belonging to the agency.

The party described the reported NIMASA fraud as yet another sad episode of the unending tale of stinking rot in the Buhari-led APC administration, where officials, relations, cronies and persons close to Mr President have allegedly engaged in shameless treasury looting under the protective cover of government.

Recall that NIMASA DG had on Tuesday petitioned the EFCC to investigate the allegation, which he said put his reputation and his family name at stake.

But in a statement on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP asserted that in allowing the embattled NIMASA DG to continue to stay in office, “in the face of these humongous fraud allegations, the Buhari Presidency has further heightened apprehensions in the public space that it is shielding fraudulent individuals because of their reported closeness to Mr President.”

The statement reads, “It is despicable that the Buhari administration that promised zero tolerance for corruption is rather the sanctuary for treasury looters, who as ministers, presidential aides, heads of parastatals, APC leaders and their relatives are daily pillaging the coffers of ministries, department and agencies and stealing trillions of naira belonging to the Nigerian people.

“Earlier this month, our nation was jolted by the revelation of a $65 million (N31 billion) fraud in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), in which President Buhari’s reportedly estranged son in-law, Gimba Yau Kumo, was   involved.

“This FMBN revelation came on the heels of allegations of looting of over N165 billion in the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) under the ministerial purview of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the suspended Director General, Hadiza Bala Usman.

“This is in addition to allegations of involvement of the wife of the transportation minister in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“It is saddening that under President Buhari, ministries and agencies of government, including FIRS, NNPC, NEMA, NPA, NIMASA, NHIS, among others, are now Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) from which avaricious officials and APC leaders have stolen over N17 trillion in the last six years, while our nation wallows in poverty, economic hardship and infrastructural decay.

“Now that the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Jamoh, had yielded to the demands of investigation by the EFCC, our party holds that he should immediately step aside so that the anti-graft agency will have unhindered access to vital documents on the matter.”

The PDP also charged the EFCC not to succumb to blackmails but to move in and commence a rounded investigation on the alleged fraud in NIMASA, including the reported movement of public funds from the Treasury Single Account to private individuals, using the agency as a cover.