14 September 2017

Nigeria: JAMB, Nimasa Face Probe Over 'Massive' Corruption

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(file photo).

The Federal Government has ordered an investigation into allegations of "massive" corruption in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The investigation was approved yesterday during a cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who disclosed this to State House correspondents, described the looting in both agencies as massive.

She, however, did not say who, or which agency will carry out the probe.

Adeosun said the leakages had been blocked and it had helped the government to get funds to finance projects needed to stimulate the economy.

She said records showed that before the change in management, the highest amount ever remitted annually by the JAMB was N3 million.

She however said the new management this year alone remitted N5 billion with another N3 billion ready for remittance.

Adeosun said the cabinet resolved that the past managements of the NIMASA and JAMB should be called to account.

The minister added that other undisclosed revenue agencies would also be investigated.

She said: "We reported on the progress made by a number of our agencies some of whom have reported very significant increases in the amount paid into the consolidated revenue fund.

"Council discussed JAMB which recorded significant progress and NIMASA as well as others, and gave us the charge to really go and look at these agencies, look in some cases the past managements of those agencies and see where those agencies were leaking and to encourage agencies that haven't done so to continue with efficiencies.

"The highest amount that JAMB has ever remitted to the consolidated revenue fund before this management was N3 million. This year, so far, they have done N5 billion and the minister of education reported that they have additional N3 billion that they are ready to remit which will take this year's figure alone to N8 billion.

"Now, they have not increased their charges or their fees. So, the question that council members were asking was that where were all these monies before?

"So, the directive was given that we must call those who were the heads of those agencies and similar ones to account, and that is what we intend to do.

"It is similar stories with other agencies and these are the leakages which we are now blocking. These are the monies in the consolidated fund that are now being applied in the projects that really need to get the economy moving.

"These are the monies that are missing that have led us to the position we are in. It is the greatest looting that this administration has come in to address."

Ex-NIMASA DG's troubles

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on May 20, 2016 sentenced former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Raymond Omatseye to five years in jail over alleged N1.5 billion contract scam.

The High Court found Mr. Omatseye guilty of 24 out of the 27 charges against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

He was however acquitted by the Court of Appeal in Lagos early in the year.

Justice Yargata Nimpar, who read the decision of the court, said the High Court that tried him did not properly evaluate the evidence before it.

Another former NIMASADG, Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others were charged by the EFCC on 22 count of corruption allegations. Others charged are Captain Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche and Governor Juan, as well as Blockz and Stonz Ltd, Kenzo Logistics Ltd and Al-Kenzo Logistic Ltd. In the charge, the accused were alleged to have converted to their use, a total of N2.6 billion between December 23, 2013 and May 28, 2015. Akpobolokemi.

Ex-acting DG,Haruna Jauro, who succeeded Akpobolokemi, is also facing a trial-within-trial, over a N304.1 million fraud. Charged along with him are Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd.

They were arraigned on April 12, 2016. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

A former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, who was removed from office last year, had denied he was sacked for any wrong doing.

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