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AuGF queries Maritime Academy over alleged diversion, irregular withdrawal of N1.05bn

augf-queries-maritime-academy-over-alleged-diversion,-irregular-withdrawal-of-n1.05bn

By Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) has queried management of the Maritime Academy, Oron, over alleged diversion and irregular withdrawal of N1.05billion.

The query is contained in the 2018 Audited Report of the AuGF being considered by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts (SPAC).

According to the report, audit observed N457 million released to the Academy on 13th December 2012 was irregularly diverted to a UBA account number: 1006476693.

The AuGF further observed N608 million was also irregularly withdrawn from a bank without stating the purpose of the withdrawal.

The query reads: “Audit observed that the sum of N 457 million released to the Academy on 13th December 2012 was irregularly diverted.

“All efforts made by the Audit Team to sight the bank statement, supporting documents for utilization of the fund and other relevant details proved abortive.

“No response from management as at the time of this report. Risk diversion of funds is illegal and deprives the Government of resources.

“The Rector is required to recover the sum of N 457, 657,293.12 …irregularly diverted into a private account and furnish recovery particulars. Sanctions within Financial Regulations 3106 should apply.”

The second query reads: “Audit observed N608million was irregularly withdrawn without stating the purpose of the withdrawal.

“Management’s response: No response from management as at the time of this report. Risk diversion of public fund for purposes other than intended”

However, Rector of the Maritime Academy, Duja Effedua, when he appeared before the panel, said that the allegations were grievous but none of the staff was ready to talk to him about what transpired regarding the audited report.

“I came to kick start something I don’t have any information about. I want an ad-hoc committee to be set up to get to the root of the matter,” he said.

He assured the Committee of his cooperation to get to the root of the matter.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide however gave the Rector three weeks to supply the panel with relevant documents to help it determine the veracity or otherwise of the allegations contained in the AuGF’s queries.

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