The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and the Department of State Security [DSS] to as a matter of urgent national concern clamp down on the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, as the Centre has reliably gathered from sources within that the helmsmen of the multi-billion naira agency is set to elope to an unknown destination in order to evade possible probe by the incoming administration. Executive Director of the Centre for Operations, Comrade Philip Agbese handed down the warning yesterday during a press briefing held in Abuja on the state of the nation.
Comrade Philip Agbese, lamented that Mr. Akpobolokemi is not ready to entertain all the good counsel by well-meaning Nigerians to return his large chunk back to the Federal Government.
The Centre said contrary to statements credited to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan that the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari would persecute his aides after leaving office, it is only wise that genuine investigation into the activities of questionable characters like Akpobolokemi be instituted immediately to demonstrate to the world that the statement is not a clandestine strategy to buy unnecessary sympathy while others run away with their loots to other countries at the detriment of the suffering masses of Nigeria.
According to him, one would continue to be surprised about the mindset of many highly placed Nigerians that known violators of the law with profile cases like the embezzling of $30M (Thirty Million Dollars), Spending of over Eight Hundred Million Naira on air tickets to Dubai for a few ex-militants and employment of unqualified graduates without NYSC DISCHARGE certificates should be ignored in the name of politics of persecution being about in the market.
The statement therefore queried why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has refused to carry out its responsibilities of investigating and prosecuting corrupt persons in the country despite the heap of petitions which this group and other anti-corruption crusade groups have submitted to the Commission against Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi and his cohorts who administered public funds like their private estates.
“we make bold to categorically state that Mr. President in his recent statement must be careful as not to set a bad narrative in motion where public officers who have cases before our law enforcement agencies would run to town to blackmail the incoming administration in her much anticipated war against corruption under the cover of political persecution”.
“It is more worrisome particularly with the recent developments that while some public officers are busy returning their loots back to the treasury, the Director General of NIMASA Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi and others who see themselves to be above the law are making travel arrangements to evade arrest in the nearest future.”
“We shall mobilize ourselves and other civil society groups to occupy the NIMASA headquarters in view of the fear that agents of the state may conspire to aid his absconding from the country and ensure a total barricade until he is arrested, Agbese also added.