The Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Amb Joshua Okpo has been confirmed dead. He died in Uyo in the early hours of Tuesday, although the cause of his death has not been ascertained as at press time, it is rumoured to be as a result of shock from the alleged N13bn probe by the Ministry of Transportation on the rector’s misappropriation of funds.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi was reported to have ordered for the probe of the financial activities of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State and N13 billion remittances to the institution by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the last five years.
Okpo was said to have approached Amaechi to accuse NIMASA of denying the institute of funds which led to Amaechi’s call for a meeting with the management of NIMASA. At the meeting NIMASA revealed that it had remitted over N18 billion to the academy since 2009 and Okpo was unable to account for the sum of N13 billion remitted to the institution since he took over which forced Amaechi to immediately call for a probe.
Amb. Joshua Okpo was conferred Honorary Doctor of Science in Engineering and Project Management at the European American University-Common Wealth of Dominica.
Okpo was described as a man of peace, “the messiah of the academy” as he calmed frayed nerves in the academic community and put smiles on the faces of the staff of the academy. He was also credited to have transformed the landscape of the institution to the admiration of all stakeholders who visited the academy in recent times.
The jubilations of the Oron community as well as the students, staff and management of MAN Oron on Okpo’s reappointment has been short lived as the man who was tipped to consolidate on his development in the premier Maritime institution, and catapult it to greatness, has passed on.
One of his aides confirmed that as at 7pm on Tuesday he was taken to the mortuary.