Petitioners who wrote against Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, (MAN), Oron Cdre. Duja Effedua (Rtd), have once again failed to appear before the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives.
The petitioners were absent when chairman of the committee, Hon Busayo Oluwole Oke, called them up during the sitting to defend their petitions.
Oke, who expressed that the National Assembly believes in giving fair hearing to all sides of any divide, averred that his committee will provide room for cross examination of the petitioners.
The Chairman wondered why they didn’t come having caused his committee to serve the Rector copies of their petitions and duly invited him and the petitioners to meet in the National Assembly.
According to Oke, the committee will not just rely on any petition that the authors are not ready to prove their allegations.
He added that writers of such petitions cannot just dump petitions on his committee without coming forward to defend what they wrote
“Are the petitioners here? They can’t just dump petitions on us and not come to defend their petitions and face the DG.
“For fair hearing, we copied the DG (Rector) of the academy and we expect the petitioners to be here because he who alleges must prove” he said.
The Chairman later mandated the Clerk of the committee to write the petitioners again before adjourning for two week,after the Eid El Fitri Muslim holiday.
Effedua, who also made a brief remark, said the intent behind the petitions was to distort the ongoing successes being achieved in the academy.
He later submitted a written defence and responses to the petitions on oath which was adopted by the committee.
Speaking, the Rector disclosed to the committee that over 6,500 petitions have been written against him for which he has been appearing before anti-graft agencies without any of the petitioners coming forward to defend their letters.
He said the writers’ intention is to unduly deploy apparatus of state to derail the school because he stopped the culture of corruption and waste of government resources at the nation’s premier maritime training institution.
“Mr Chairman, honourable members, I have had about 6500 petitions. The corruption this committe is fighting is what some persons are using instrument of state to perpetuate.
“They have sent threat messages to me and have planned to poison me because I refused to share money.
“They claim that before I came, money was being shared and they will ensure I am distracted from work. These series of petitions are part of the game plan to keep us disturbed from performing our duties. Since Easter, I have been defending petitions written with fake names and addresses.
“I am ready to always appear when called upon to defend any of the petitions. Since they have been writing, no single individual has shown up as a writer to defend any of these petitions” the Rector said.
He told the committee that a good amount of money meant for running and improving the academy were hitherto shared by corrupt elements suspected to be behind the petitions.
According to him, anti-graft agencies have been given clues as to who the faceless writers are and they have promised to investigate and arrest them for submitting fake and misleading information.
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