FG overlooks N20 billion fraud against Muazu, gives him NIMASA top job

Source: pointblanknews.com
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Amamu Mu'azu, former Governor of Bauchi State and now Chairman NIMASA

Despite his indictment for misappropriating about N20 Billion belonging to the Bauchi State Government during his eight year tenure as Governor, and a ten year ban from holding public office, Mr. Adamu Muazu has been appointed chairman, board of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Mr. Muazu's appointment was facilitated by two prominent Government officials: The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Yayale Ahmed and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Bala Mohammed, sources told Pointblanknews.com.

Mr. Yayale has been variously fingered in corruption including an inflation of a military contract in an expose by pointblanknews.com recently.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had last year while debunking claims that Mr. Muazu has been cleared of all corrupt charges stating that the former governor of Bauchi State still has case to answer.

The Federal Government had recently began what it termed “a cleansing of the maritime sector” with the sacking of the former Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omatseye and the Director General of the Nigeria Port Authority, Mr. Abdulsalam Mohammed. While Mr. Mohammed is yet to be charged for corruption, Omatseye is currently facing charges for allegedly defrauding NIMASA of about N1.5 Billion.

A Federal Government parastatal, NIMASA is the apex regulatory and promotional maritime agency. It was created on August 1, 2006 from the merger of the National Maritime Authority and Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council – former parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Transport.

However, the appointment of the former Governor Mua'azu who is still facing corruption charges with the EFCC and who replaces Senator Baba Tella that contested the last governorship primaries in Bauchi State became a shocker for maritime watchers.

A maritime lawyer who did not want to be mentioned told Pointblanknews.com that “this is a shame, it is absolutely wrong to want to clean up a place and bringing people with questionable characters. The Government is just drawing the agency backward and it is a shame.”

GOVERNOR Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State had insisted that he must present the state's White Paper that indicted his predecessor, Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu; of misappropriating about N20 billion of state funds to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

Pointblanknews.com gathered from highly placed sources that the Secretary to the Government of the federation, Mr. Yayale and the FCT Minister, Mohammed pushed for the appointment of Mr. Mu'azu to spite Governor Yuguda. Both Yayale and Mohammed are political enemies of Yuguda, the present governor of Bauchi State.

The duo has been having running battles with Governor Yuguda who instituted a probe panel into the eight years tenure of Mr. Mu'azu and uncovered a N20 Billion fraud.

Sources told Pointblanknews.com that Governor Yuguda is not comfortable with the appointment especially as he was not consulted before the appointment was made as the Governor of the State where Mr. Mu'azu hails from.

The sources added that a formal complain will be presented to President Goodluck Jonathan on the need to revisit the appointment especially based on the fact that the former Governor of Bauchi is still under investigation by the EFCC.

However, sources hinted Pointblanknews.com that some Directors and senior managers in NIMASA and NPA who are privy to the deals that led to the sacking of the two former DG's of the agencies have started cleaning up files and any incriminating documents.

The Sources hinted that the moves by the top officials of the agencies is as a result of a wave of reforms which is poised to sweep away many senior and top management staff in the nation's maritime industry and sea ports. Some managers of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are under threat as the two organisations conclude plans to sanitise the industry. 

According to the sources, the imminent shake-up is expected to affect Directors, the general manager cadre most because many of them were either directly or indirectly involved in corruption that have bedevilled the agencies.