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Senate probes Maritime Academy over alleged diversion of n1.05bn in commercial bank

The Senate is investigation the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa- Ibom State of alleged diversion and irregular withdrawal of N1.05bn in commercial bank.

The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) chaired by Matthew Urhoghide said the investigation was based on the report of the Office of Auditor-General, which exposed alleged mismanagement in the 2018 audited report.

Urhoghide hinted that the audit report observed that the sum of N457 million released to the academy on December 13, 2012 was irregularly diverted to UBA account number: 1006476693.

The report also observed that the sum of N608 million was irregularly withdrawn from account number: 02550040000037 with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) without stating the purpose of the withdrawal.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 the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Duja Effedua while responding before the Senate Committee on Public Account, said that the allegations against the institution was grievous, adding that nobody handed over to him.

“It is true, they won’t talk to me. They have written about 6,000 petition 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 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 ad-hoc committee to be set up and get to the root of the matter,” Effedua submitted.

The committee chairman gave the rector three weeks to provide the necessary documents to the committee on the allegations raised in the Auditor’s General report.

The rector thereafter told the committee that he was ready to co-oporate with them in order to get to the root of the matter.

The first query read thus: “Audit observed that the sum of N457 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 said thus: “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.”

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