MAN: Reps Flay Petition writers, May Issue Warrant of Arrest
*”Come and Prove your Case because He Who Alleges Must Prove -NASS
*“We don’t have enough money for the development of the Academy, from where do I get money to share to people”?-Rector
Of the over 6,000 petitions written on the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, published and circulated online, not one writer has stepped forward to answer questions nor supply proof/further evidence (s) on their allegations after years and several invitations extended to them by members of the National Assembly.
These wink in the dark, ghost writers have also failed to honour invitations by the Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission, ICPC nor any government agency authorized to look into such matters.
Apart from using fake names and addresses, these fictitious writers, from all indications have a foreboding mission to cripple the Academy and stagnate its development perpetually.
These were the concerns raised by members of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives when some of the Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Transportation, FMOT, and other Federal Agencies honoured invitation by the honourable members to clarify issues raised by office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon Busayo Oluwole Oke, was miffed when he called on the petition writers to defend their petition but not even their shadows could be found.
“This is unacceptable. You cannot write a petition and fail to come and defend your claims, we believe in fair hearing for all Nigerians and that is why we invited them and the Rector to come and present their case, ask each other questions to enable this Committee understand what is happening. It is unfortunate that they are not here, we will have to give them another two weeks, after the holidays, let them come and explain because he who alleges must prove”, the Reps committee chairman said.
Other members of the Committee agreed with the Chairman as the matter was stepped down to attend to other MDAs invited for other reasons.
The Rector in his remarks told the honourable members that the writer of the petitions have never honoured any invitation be it from Anti grafts agencies, police or any other government agency authorized to look into such matters.
In the Rector’s words “Mr. Chairmen and distinguished members of the house, I must let you know that I have been to wherever invited to respond to some of these baseless petitions but the writers never show up.
“They use fake names and addresses, fake phone numbers with cloned, untraceable identities which security agencies are working on. “Why are they running, they should be held answerable to their crimes because they have encroached on our developmental schedule and timelines, the time spent on these petitions could be better used to develop the Academy but some persons want to ensure that it does not grow”
“I receive all kinds of threats to my life for doing want i was appointed to do. We dont have the funds to execute projects at the Academy and some persons say i should bring money for sharing? Where do i get such money from?, the Rector asked
Warrant of Arrest
The Warrant of arrest is a legislative, constitution backed instrument which the Legislature deploys on those who fail to honour invitations by the National Assembly.
Recall that Chairman of the Committee, Hon Busayo Oluwole Oke had called for the issuance of Warrant of arrest on the Managing Director of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority when the MD failed to appear before his Committee
“We are waiting for Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority; they are not here. This is the second day allotted for them. If we do not see them today, Mr. Clerk, we issue a warrant of arrest for the MD and the management.” Oke had said.
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), is another agency that was issued a warrant of arrest for failing to appear.
Will the House Committee call for the arrest of the Petition writers at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria if they fail to appear in the days to come?
Repositioning of the Academy
It is on record that the Rector and his management team have worked hard to achieve the mandate of Restructuring and Repositioning the Academy from 2017 when the present Rector was appointed.
The turnaround recorded has been attested to by maritime stakeholders as training equipment such as modern Simulators and others have been procured, installed and deployed for trainings at MAN.
According to the Rector “Right now we have the training equipment, we have the lecturers, we have the structures and facilities to deliver world class training that is obtainable anywhere in the world and I will continue to insist that anyone going outside the shores of Nigeria for any kind of maritime/Oil and Gas training is just wasting his time and resources”.
Awaiting full installation and commissioning at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria is the Helicopter Under Water Training Equipment recently acquired by management of the institution for improved training at the Academy.
Are the petition writers working for the growth of the Academy or its stagnation? Are they happy with the progress made? Are they contributing to further development of the Academy or derailing ongoing efforts?
These are the questions bothering stakeholders and followers of events at the Academy.