Senate has started Investigation of Maritime Academy of Nigeria , Oron, Akwa- Ibom into alleged illegal diversion and irregular withdrawal of N1.05bn in commercial bank.
The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide hinged the investigation on the office of Auditor General report which exposed the alleged mismanagement.
According to the report, audit observed that the sum of N457 million released to the academy on 13th December 2012 was irregularly diverted to UBA account number;1006476693 and It was also observed that the sum of N608 million was irregularly withdrawn from account number 02550040000037 with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) without stating the purpose of the withdrawal.
However, the Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Duja Effedua while responding before the Senate Committee on Public Account said that the allegations against the institution is grievous but that none of the staff is ready to talk to him on what transpired regarding the audited report, adding he did not take over from anybody.
He said, “It is true , they won’t talk to me. They have written about 6,000 petitions against me. They want me dead, they are frustrating me. I need the help of the committee to carry out the Investigation.
“I came to kickstart something I don’t have any information about, they will frustrate every effort to get to the root of the matter. I want an ad hoc Committee to be set up and get to the root of the matter.”
But the Chairman of the Committee gave the Rector of the Institution three weeks to provide the necessary documents to the Committee on the allegations raised in the Auditor-General report.
The Rector thereafter told the committee that he was ready to cooperate with them in order to get to the root of the mater.
The query had said, “Audit observed that the sum of N 457 million released to the Academy on 13th December 2012 was irregularly diverted to UBA account number;1006476693.
“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 N 457, 657,293.12 (Four hundred and fifty seven million six hundred and fifty-seven thousand two hundred and ninety-three-naira twelve kobo) irregularly diverted into a private account and furnish recovery particulars. Sanctions within FR 3106 should apply.”
The second query reads, “Audit observed that the sum of N608 million was irregularly withdrawn from account number 02550040000037 with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) 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.”