Reasons Why President Buhari Sacked NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi Revealed
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sacked Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, as the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
While the statement announcing his sack by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, did not state the reason for his sack, sources revealed the sack is not unconnected to his partisaship during the build up to the 2015 general election.
The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO), had during the campaign of the 2015 election said it had evidence that a top management staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA) was behind the dirty campaigns of hate against then presidential candidate of APC, General Muhammadu Buhari and his family aired on AIT and NTA.
The APCPCO’s then Director of Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said that the Campaign Office had confirmed that the agency was indeed the sponsor of all the dirty campaigns against the APC presidential candidate on AIT, NTA and several other media platforms.
This, according to Shehu, contravened the NIMASA Act, the Public Service Regulations, and the INEC Act 2010 as amended, among others.
The APCPCO decried the situation where a government agency uses public funds to sponsor a campaign of calumny against its candidate, which it said is not only illegal, but should also be condemned and investigated by the Joint Committees of the National Assembly on Marine Transportation.
“It is a well-known fact that the Director General of the Agency, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi was President Goodluck Jonathan’s and a well-known ex-militant’s errand boy. He was appointed there for the sole aim of satisfying an ex-militant’s camp, an assignment he has carried out well to the satisfaction of those who put him there through the award of a concessionaire phantom PPP project.
Under this contract, a certain company, (Global West Vessels Specialists Ltd), owned by Tompolo was handed the legal responsibility of the Nigerian Navy (NN) of protecting the Nation’s Waterway and NIMASA’s Maritime Security function to the surprise of all industry observers and yet failed woefully in offering the necessary protection for the theft of Nigerian Crude Oil, which has only increased since then among other sea related crimes.”
Another source said yesterday that Akpobolokemi removal followed an anonymous petition alleging that about N1.3 billion was removed from the NIMASA account on June 25, 2015 to celebrate the “Day of the Seafarer” in Nigeria. The seafarer’s day is a global event marked on June 25 every year.
Some sources alleged that one of the directors was used to continually drain the resources of the agency.
The petitioners accused NIMASA of connivance in mismanaging N447 million fund approved by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for the implementation of international ship and port facility security (ISPS), a ‘bogus’ project meant for consultancy, enforcement activities, and verification/inspection exercise. The project was said to have been approved on April 27, 2015.
“Within a period of just 12 days, Nigerians were defrauded of a whopping N447 million. The speed at which these huge sums of monies were requested and released is an indication of a grandeur conspiracy… This was part of the last-minute ransacking of the Nigerian treasury,” the petitioners alleged.