N1.5tr Fraud: PDP demands NIMASA DG’s suspension

*Asks EFCC to move in

By Myke Uzendu, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the suspension of the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, to enable him face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged looting of N1.5 trillion and $9.5 million dollars belonging to the agency.

The party described the reported NIMASA fraud as yet another sad episode of the unending tale of stinking rot in the Buhari-led APC administration, where officials, relations, cronies and persons close to Mr. President have engaged in the treasury looting under the protective cover of government.

The PDP in a statement on Wednesday by its Spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan stated that by allowing the embattled NIMASA DG to continue to stay in office, in the face of the humongous fraud allegations, the Buhari Presidency has further heightened apprehensions in the public space that it is shielding fraudulent individuals because of their reported closeness to Mr. President.

He said, “It is despicable that the Buhari administration that promised zero tolerance for corruption is rather the sanctuary for treasury looters, who as ministers, presidential aides, heads of parastatals, APC leaders and their relatives are daily pillaging the coffers of ministries, department and agencies and stealing trillions of naira belonging to the Nigerian people.

“Earlier this month, our nation was jolted by the revelation of a $65 million (N31 billion) fraud in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), in which President Buhari’s reportedly estranged son in-law, Gimba Yau Kumo, was   involved.

“This FMBN revelation came on the heels of allegations of looting of over N165 billion in the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) under the ministerial purview of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the suspended Director General, Hadiza Bala Usman.

“This is in addition to allegations of involvement of the wife of the transportation minister in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“It is saddening that under President Buhari, ministries and agencies of government, including FIRS, NNPC, NEMA, NPA, NIMASA, NHIS, among others, are now Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) from which avaricious officials and APC leaders have stolen over N17 trillion in the last six years, while our nation wallows in poverty, economic hardship and infrastructural decay”.

PDP stressed that as the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Jamoh, had yielded to the demands of investigation by the EFCC, he should immediately step aside so that the anti-graft agency will have unhindered access to vital documents on the matter.

The PDP charged the EFCC not to succumb to blackmails but move in and commence a rounded investigation on the alleged fraud in NIMASA, including the reported movement of public funds from the Treasury Single Account to private individuals, using the agency as a cover.

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