Labinjos’ $6.5m Scandal: NIMAREX Battles Integrity Crisis Over NISA

  • NIMAREX Battles Integrity Crisis Over NISAJolapoma Begs Oraekwusi to save NISA
  • Adedoyin Spits Venom on Ogbeifun
  • First Bank moves To recover funds

The ragging integrity crisis in the leadership of Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) assumed another dimension last week with the fear that the 2015 edition of Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) billed for March 30th, 2015 in Lagos could be a huge failure.

Apparently worried by this, the Chairman Organizing Committee of NIMAREX 2015, Mr. Ayorinde Adedoyin and the Publicity Secretary of NISA, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori, in separate memos accused Engr. Greg Ogbeifun of sabotaging the efforts of the committee to get participants as well as alleging that he mischievously instigated Mrs. Adenike Jolapamo-Onifade to open up on her unfortunate $6.5m vessel purchase scandal with Capt Dada Labinjo, the President of NISA, all with the intension of rubbishing NISA.

While Adedoyin’s memo circulated online was full of vituperation, Ilori’s was marked by venomous censure against the person of Engr. Ogbeifun.

Contacted, however, Engr. Ogbeifun said he would not join issues with anybody, but noted that any house not built on solid foundation was bound to fail, therefore they should not blame anybody for their pack of woes.

Independent findings by MMS Plus Weekly, have revealed that the integrity problem in NISA has stigmatized NIMAREX which is an initiative of the ship owners association. A lot of people who were said to have made commitment to attend or participate in the exhibition have declined, especially with the outbreak of the Labinjo’s ship purchase scandal.

This fuelled the suspicion that some former members of NISA who left in protest against Labinjo’s presidential victory are sabotaging their efforts for a successful expo.

Meanwhile, the former president of NISA, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, in company of some NISA executive members, ahead of their 4th February 2015, executive meeting last week, stormed the office of Barr. (Mrs.) Margaret Oraekwusi, the former 1st Vice President of the association to appeal to her to assume the presidency of NISA to salvage what is left of the association as a result of the integrity crisis.

Recall that Oraekwusi had resigned alongside six other candidates recently in protest against Labinjo’s alleged engineered victory at the the polls.

MMS plus weekly gathered that Oraekwusi bluntly declined to have nothing to do with NISA again, compelling Jolapamo and the executive members to appoint the 2nd vice President of the group, Mr. Aminu Umar as the Acting President.

In a statement last week, the spokesperson of NISA, Ilori confirmed that Labinjo had been asked to step aside. “The Exco of NISA met at an emergency session on 4th February, 2015 to review ongoing allegations involving the president of NISA, Capt. Dada Labinjo (Rtd.).

“The Exco unanimously agreed that there is urgent need for the President to concentrate on clearing his involvement on the matter.

“The Nigerian Shipowners Association must continue to make progress on its aims and objectives such that will ensure industry confidence, create jobs and ensure that the maritime industry takes its rightful position as a major contributor to the national economy, “ Ilori stated.

In another twist, Jalopoma has also sought the legal services of Oraekwusi to ensure that the bail conditions handed down by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to his daughter, Adenike Jolapoma-Onifade, the Managing Director of the indigenous firm, Acenk Marine and Energy Services Limited, were met.

Last week, Chief Jolapoma’s daughter whose company was the victim of the $6.5m diversion was arrested by the EFCC alongside Capt. Labinjo and his wife, Bola.

It was gathered that this was at the instance of First Bank Plc, which gave the vessel purchase facility to Acenk Marine and Energy Services Limited on the strength of an offshore services contract granted by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to Acenk Marine and Energy Services Limited.

The bail conditions for both the Labinjos and Jolapamo- Onifade are very stringent that it is feared they might not make it within the time frame of two weeks.

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