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Senate threatens NIMASA boss with warrant of arrest



Senate threatens NIMASA boss with warrant of arrest

Dakuku Peterside

Senate’s joint Committees on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance, yesterday threatened to issue warrant of arrest on the Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside for failing to appear before it.

The committees investigating the N263.89billion illegal security services carried out by the Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, OMLS at the Safe Anchorage Area in Lagos Ports , issued the threat Wednesday when the NIMASA DG failed to appear before it.

Though the NIMASA DG was represented at the investigative hearing by the Principal Legal Officer of the Agency, Barrister Haruna Argungu but the committee refused to honour him in that capacity by walking him out of the session in the presence of the Minister of State, Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.

Trouble for the NIMASA DG started when the committee Chairman, Senator George Sekibo (PDP Rivers East), read out list of heads of Marine Transport agencies invited for the hearing and discovered that Peterside, was not personally present.

Though Peterside’s representative made spirited efforts to justify the absence of his boss , but the Committee Chairman and other members like Senators Muhammad Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central), Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West), Betty Apiafi (PDP Rivers West) etc, dismissed his explanations as balderdash.

While Argungu in his explanations said the NIMASA DG couldn’t make it because of International Maritime Organisation, IMO conference he attended in London few days back, Senator Danjuma Goje who also attended the conference in his capacity , as Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport , countered him by saying “I also attended the conference and I am here now.”

Goje punctured the explanation further by saying that even the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki attended the same conference and honoured the committee’s invitation.

Senate threatens NIMASA boss with warrant of arrest

“Your explanation that the NIMASA DG couldn’t make it to this investigative hearing because of IMO conference he attended in London few days back is not tenable because I was also at the conference and even Senator Gbemisola Saraki , the Minister of State , Transportation was there and both of us are here now.

“Mr chairman, the NIMASA DG should should look for another excuse for not honouring the committee’s invitation which to me is unacceptable,” he said.

Consequently , the Committee Chairman, George Sekibo told Argungu to inform Peterside to appear before the committee unfailingly Thursday , 5th December , 2019 failure of which a warrant of arrest will be issued against him by the Senate.

“This investigative hearing supposed to have been held last week but shifted to allow the NIMASA DG and other key players in Marine Transport to attend the IMO conference which took place in London last weekend.

It is annoying that after that grace given to him , he still refused to appear before us today . This is unacceptable as submitted by other members of the committee and on account of this , the Committee is given him another chance to honour our invitation on Thursday, 5th December 2019 by 3pm prompt .

“If the NIMASA DG to fails to appear in person before this committee tomorrow ( today), warrant of arrest will be issued against him by the Senate for that purpose ” , he warned.

He there after ordered Barrister Argungu to leave the venue of the session which he did along with another official from the agency , Mr Okechukwu Ekezienya .

However Senator Gbemisola Saraki in her submissions before the Committee ,said OMSL contract on security services at the ports has not been suspended or dismantled as claimed by the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Usman on Tuesday.

She explained to the committee that the Ministry has scheduled a meeting with all stakeholders on the security services at the Ports next week Monday in Lagos .

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