22 August 2009

Nigeria: Groups Seek Probe of Maritime Academy

Akwa Ibom — President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has been urged to investigate alleged cases of corruption and financial malpractices at the Nigerian Maritime Academy located in Oron, Akwa Ibom State. In a petition written by three human rights groups, the organisations said they have received series of petitions from the academy's teachers and students which lay claim to gross abuse of office, corruption and maladministration at the maritime academy. Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the groups alleged that for the past years, students and teachers of the school have been exposed to the most dehumanising conditions in the midst of gross abuse of office and corruption which equals the state of stupor at the academy. "We demand immediate removal of Mr. N.E. Ebong as the Rector Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron and handed over to the EFCC to probe his administration since 2001.

We call on the President and the EFCC to probe the over N100 million Simulator Project but which up till now has head way," the group alleged.The groups, which were made up of journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER, Centre for Media Advocacy and Research Network, CEMARN and the Green Peoples Environmental Network, GREPNET, said in the past one year, 43 students of the institution have died in avoidable circumstances. Those who signed on behalf of the rights groups are Messrs Seyi Fayemi (JODER) Micheal Essiet (CEMARN) and Mrs. Nguzi Alloy (GREPNE). The groups said the crisis in the institution can be partly resolved if the Presidency institute a probe panel into the institution's activities. "Series of petitions have been written to the EFCC but not much has been achieved. The workers continue to raise concerns over the short courses account, the cadets account, the personnel emolument account, the falsification of tenure of service, the arrest and detention of some members of staff accused of being responsible for the first petition in 2007 to the EFCC," the groups added.

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