Senate probes maritime academy for alleged N1.05b misappropriation
•Rector accuses officials of frustrating investigation
The Senate Public Accounts Committee has begun probe of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State for alleged illegal diversion of N1.05 billion.
The Senator Mathew Urhoghide-led panel said the move was premised on two queries by the Office of Auditor-General of the Federation which reportedly exposed the unauthorised withdrawals in its 2018 audited report.
The document indicated that the N457 million released to the academy on December 13, 2012 was diverted, while N608 million was irregularly withdrawn without concrete reasons.
Responding, the rector, Duja Effedua, accused his officials of frustrating investigation.
He said: “I came to kick-start 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 to get to the root of the matter.”
Consequently, Urhoghide gave him three weeks to furnish the committee with details.
The rector, thereafter, assured the lawmakers of his cooperation.
The first query read: “Audit observed that the sum of N457 million released to the Academy on December 13, 2012 was irregularly diverted to United Bank for Africa (UBA) account number:1006476693.
“All efforts made by the audit team to sight the bank statement supporting documents for utilisation of the fund and other relevant details proved abortive.
“No response from management as at the time of this report. Diversion of funds is illegal and deprives government of resources.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.