The fourth prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi and six others, testified at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday.
The witness, Uche Obilor, who is the Managing Director of Ace Prothesis Limited, Seabulk Offshore Limited and Southern Offshore Limited, told the Court how his three companies were paid 905 million Naira by the NIMASA for a contract he did not execute.
Led in an evidence by the counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness also disclosed that he was approached by the NIMASA’s Executive Director for Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, Captain Ezekiel Agaba, who was the second defendant in the case.
He told the court that it was the Captain, who told him that his companies had been awarded the contract to assist NIMASA meet the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code for 2014.
The witness further testified that shortly after the money was paid, he was told by the Captain to stay execution on the contract.
He was subsequently directed to transfer the money into different accounts until 54 million Naira was left in the accounts.
The 54 million Naira, he said, had since being transferred to the coffers of the Federal Government.
Under cross examination, the witness admitted to the court that though, he held several meetings with the second defendant, he never met the first defendant, Akpobolokemi, neither did he receive any instructions or discussed with him.
The witness also admitted that despite being given the job description for the contract, his company lacked the capacity to carry out some of the functions.
The defence sought to prove that this was the reason for the stay of execution he received from NIMASA.
The cross examination of the witness would however, continue at the next adjourned date of February 5.
The former NIMASA DG was arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba along with the three other defendants, Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan and three companies, namely Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.
In a 22-count charge filed against them by the EFCC, they were accused of converting a total of 2, 658,957,666 Naira between December 23, 2013 and May 28 2015.
The defendants had all pleaded not guilty to all the counts.