By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA —AGAIN the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside and the contractor, HLSI Firm Security and Technology are to appear before the committee on Public Petitions, today over alleged $195 million security contract scam.
Today’s appearance is a continuation of the hearing last December. Amaechi and others had appeared before the panel on December 13 last year where the Minister told the panelists that neither his ministry nor NIMASA violated any Section of the Military Act.
He said: “from the provisions of the Act the contract did not violate the law and the action did not lead to the ceding of any portion of Nigeria.’’ After reading his presentation which was also adopted by the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Peterside, and the Minister stood his ground that his ministry lived above board in the issue at stake.He equally told the lawmakers that the Federal Executive Council had previous week approved the contract in question.
The lawmakers at the session immediately moved that the investigative hearing be stepped down due to lack of time to look at the documents before it. They unanimously agreed to adjourn the matter till January 17, today for a detailed investigative hearing.
It will be recalled that members of the committee in a briefing cautioned the federal government and parties involved in the planned $195million concessioning of Nigeria’s waterways to private entities to stay action pending the outcome of its investigation into the matter. Chairman of the Committee, Rep Uzoma Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia),