Senate orders NIMASA to justify $5m payment to law firm

The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) has given the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) 48 hours to present to it, documents authorizing the payment of $ 5 million to a law firm for a service not rendered.

The committee which was chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Edo South), had invited the management of NIMASA to explain why the $5 million was paid for a service not rendered.

NIMASA representative, Olamide Olusanya, told the Committee yesterday that the matter was presently a subject of litigation in court.

However, the Committee rejected the explanation and asked the agency to make a presentation on the information at their disposal on the payment of legal fees to the law firm.

Olusanya explained that the agency was directed by the Attorney-General of the Federation to pay the $ 5 million legal fees.

Urhoghide then asked the representative of NIMASA to present any letter that authorized the agency to pay $5 million for legal fees.

In his response to whether the Presidency directed the agency to pay the legal fees, the NIMASA official said there is no such letter adding that they only have a letter from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration authorizing the payment.

The Committee, therefore, directed the agency to present documents relating to the payment by Thursday this week to enable the Committee to take a final decision on the matter.



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