The Peoples Democratic Party, has asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to immediately order the suspension of the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Bashir Jamoh, to allow his investigation and possible prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged looting of N1.5tn and $9.5m belonging to the agency under his leadership.
The PDP described the alleged fraud in NIMASA as “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 shameless treasury looting under the protective cover of government.”
The PDP made the call in a statement issued on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, which was titled ‘N1.5tn Fraud: PDP Demands NIMASA DG’s Suspension…Asks EFCC to Investigate Him.’
According to the opposition party, in allowing the NIMASA boss to continue to stay in office in the face of “these humongous fraud allegations,” the Buhari presidency has further heightened apprehensions in the public space that it is allegedly “shielding fraudulent individuals because of their reported closeness to Mr President.”
The statement partly read, “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 $65m (N31bn) fraud in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, 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 N165bn in the Nigeria Ports Authority 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 N48bn contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission.
“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 from which avaricious officials and APC leaders have stolen over N17tn in the last six years, while our nation wallows in poverty, economic hardship and infrastructural decay.”
It further read, “Now that the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Jamoh, had yielded to the demands of investigation by the EFCC, our party holds that he should immediately step aside so that the anti-graft agency will have unhindered access to vital documents on the matter.
“The PDP also charges 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.”