9th Senate Orders Arrest of Maritime Director-General Over Alleged $9.3b Loss

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The 9th Senate has ordered the arrest of Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, for allegedly paying a law firm $5 million dollars to recover a $9.3b loss.

The order was given by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts led by Senator Matthew Urhogbide.

The panel noted that Jamoh paid $5m for the intelligence-based tracking of a global movement of Nigerian hydrocarbon and recovery of loss by the Federal Government of Nigeria for $9.3bn between 2013 and 2014.

Senator Urhogbide during a briefing on Sunday expressed his anger with the agency over the failure of NIMASA to appear before the panel, saying that the panel had no other option than to issue a warrant of arrest on the DG of NIMASA.

He said, “We have invited NIMASA up to three times, but they have failed to honour our invitations. This committee has no other option than to issue a warrant of arrest against the Director General of the agency. They can come to the National Assembly for fund appropriation, but when it is time to give account they will be nowhere to be found.

He added, “The committee had invited NIMASA up to three times for the explanation on the payment of $5 million as professional fee and details of $9.3bn loss by the Federal government, but the agency declined the invitation.”

According to the AGF report, the money was paid from Zenith Bank (UK)’s dollar account.
The query read, “Audit observed that the agency engaged the service of a legal firm through a letter with reference number NIMASA/DG/KP/2014/001, dated 24th January 2014 for the intelligence-based tracking of a global movement of Nigerian Hydro-Carbon and recovery of loss by the Federal Government of Nigeria for $9.3bn between 2013 and 2014, with a start-off cost of $5m and five percent of all sums recovered. “Payment instruction with reference number NIMASA/2007/DFS/WJ/5.500/VOL.11/341 dated April 2014 showed that the firm was paid the sum of $4,523,809.52 (Four million five hundred and twenty-three thousand eight hundred and nine dollars fifty-two cents only) net as professional fees from Zenith Bank (UK) Dollar account.

Meanwhile, the Director General is yet to say something about the allegation of paying a law firm $5 million dollars to recover a $9.3b loss.