Rights activists under the umbrella of Nigerians United Against Corruption, NUAC, have accused the Federal Government of selective prosecution and probe of the activities of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, during the tenure of the sacked Director-General, Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi.
In a reaction to the sack of Akpobolokemi and the government’s handling of the appointment of his successor, NUAC accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of double standards in the choice of the new leadership of NIMASA.
The activists in a statement issued yesterday by the group’s Secretariat Head, Mr. Odusote Folarin John, queried the rationale behind the exclusion of the NIMASA Director of Administration and Finance, Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro, from the exercise considering the fact that he served in that capacity under Akpobolokemi.
In a statement on July 16 by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the government said the sack of Akpobolokemi was with immediate effect.
And two weeks after his removal, Akpobolokemi was last Thursday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged multibillion naira contract awards and fraud. He was however granted bail on self-recognition.
John expressed shock that instead of making Jauro to explain the role he played in the alleged rot under the regime of Akpobolokemi, he was rewarded with the position of NIMASA boss.
NUAC described the shakeup in NIMASA as a show of shame and an abuse of executive powers by the Buhari administration to satisfy the interest of a particular ethnic group in the country.
He further alleged that the shakeup in agency was carried out without recourse to the federal character principle because it was designed to pursue personal and individual agenda and called on the Acting Director-General to honourably vacate his office.
According to John, as the Director of Administration and Finance under Akpobolokemi, Jauro cannot exonerate himself and his office from any wronging under the former DG because he was privileged to the transactions of the agency.
He said: “We must avoid the temptation of ‘George’s Animal Farm’ where some animals are more equal than the others. This is the highest display of nepotism, insensitivity and executive rascality to promote the neo-feudal agenda of the North.”
The group urged President Buhari and the Head of Service of the Federation to wade into the matter by removing Jauro from office and redeploy a “neutral, impartial and detribalised officer to take over the affairs of NIMASA.”
Prior to the appointment of Jauro, the Federal Government had named Mr. Calistus Obias Acting Director-General/Chief Executive of NIMASA.
Before he could resume work in his new capacity, Obi was dropped by the government, who named Jauro from Yobe State as the agency boss.
Buhari’s unexplained removal of Mr. Obi and his appointment of Mr. Jauro led to allegations in certain quarters that the President was unduly filling major posts with individuals from the North.
Meanwhile, Jauro has redeployed some directors in the agency under the guise of repositioning it for efficiency.
Those affected are Mr. Ibrahim Jibril, who was moved as Director of Planning Research and Data Management Services to head Administration and Personnel Services; Mr. Felix Bob Nabena emerged Director of SERVICOM while Mr. Olayemi Abass is the Head of Financial Services,
Mr. Suleman Abdulsalam, who was the Registrar of Ships, is now the Acting Legal Adviser; Mr. Mohammed Sani becomes the Head of Procurement t while Hassan el-Yakub takes over as Head of Cabotage Department.
Also, Hajia Lami Tumaka is the new Deputy Director/Head of Public Relations; Aisha Musa was redeployed to Head the Western Zone, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi becomes Deputy Director, Maritime Guard Command; Mr. Dele Ejekuko is responsible for Zones in the DG’s Office while Mr. Eric Orji is the Acting Registrar of Ships.
Mr. Eric Orji, the Acting Registrar of Ships was until this new posting, an Assistant Director in the Ship Registry.
All the directors have assumed work in their new capacities.

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