11th Witness Testifies Against Former Director, DG Of NIMASA

Akpobolokemi--NIMASAThe 11th prosecution witness, One Eboigbe Etiosa, has told the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that Mr. Ezekiel Agaba, one of the directors of the Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA) bought a piece of land for N70m in Lekki area of Lagos.

The director is being tried alongside a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpolobokemi, for allegedly diverting N2.6bn meant for the implementation of International Ship and Port Security code at NIMASA.

Led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, Etiosa claimed to have been introduced to Agaba by a friend.

Mr Etiosa, who described himself as an estate agent and surveyor, carrying out estate valuation and buying and selling properties, said Agaba was his client.

He claimed to have sold a piece of land to Agaba at Northern Foreshore Estate, Lekki for the sum of N70m.

He claimed that Agaba paid for the land in two instalments of N40m and N30m on January 15 and 20, 2014 respectively.

He said the monies were paid into his account with the Eric Moore branch of Zenith Bank.

“On January 15, 2014, I received N40m from Ace Prosthesis Limited. On January 20, 2014, I received the balance of N30m from Aker Integrated Services Limited.

“Actually, I do not know these two companies. After negotiation of price by the parties, I forwarded my account number to Capt. Agaba and my account was credited. And it was the money that I used to purchase the property,” Etiosa said.

He affirmed that the money received from the two companies was not for a contract but for the purpose of purchasing a piece of land for Agaba at Lekki.

He claimed to have acquired the land he sold to Agaba from one David Anasudo.

Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned till March 23, 2016 for Etiosa to be cross-examined by the defence.

Akpobolokemi, Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistics Limited are being tried for allegedly diverting N2.6bn meant for the implementation of International Ship and Port Security code at NIMASA.
The ISPS Code is to enable the agency carry out security checks on vessels entering into the country.

The defendants were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos on December 4, 2015.

The 22 counts against them bordered on theft, advanced fee fraud and money laundering contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amended) Act, 2012.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty following which the EFCC opened its case against them.

Witness Continues Testimony In Former NIMASA Boss, Others Trial

NIMASAThe trial of the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, and six others continued on Tuesday.

The accused are being tried on a 22 count charge bordering on allegations of conversion and theft to the tune of 2.6 billion Naira at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The 5th prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Emeka Emenalo, continued his testimony before the court.

He told Justice Ibrahim Buba under cross examination that he personally withdrew several sums of money from his company account within the period his account was credited by NIMASA with about 72 million Naira.

This was contrary to his earlier testimony that he did not personally benefit from the money which was paid into his account despite not rendering any service to the agency.

The witness, however, explained that there were other cash inflows into his account during the period.

Examining his account statement which was tendered before the court as exhibit, the witness said he transferred 700,000 Naira to his sister and 20 million Naira to his brother on March 6, 2016 among other transfers.

The 5th prosecution witness, who earlier introduced himself as the sole proprietor of O2 Services Plus Nigeria Limited, said his younger brother, Uche Emenalo, had linked up with the third accused person in the suit.

He added that it was both of them who used his company to obtain the funds from NIMASA for a contract which was never executed.

Apart from Akpobolokemi, the other accused persons were Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan and three companies namely: Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited, and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.

They are facing trial before Justice Buba and had all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

The EFCC said the alleged offences contravened the provisions of sections 15 (1), 15 (3), and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

Fourth Prosecution Witness Testifies At Trial Of Former NIMASA Boss

nimasaThe 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.

Former NIMASA Boss’ Trial Begins

former NIMASA boss, Patrick AkpobolokemiThe trial of the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime & Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, started on Monday.

Mr Akpobolokemi was arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos along with three others – Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan – and three companies, namely Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.

The former Director General of NIMASA was also accused of defrauding the Federal Government to the tune of 795.2 million Naira.

The court sitting how part of the 2.6 billion Naira allegedly stolen by Mr Akpobolokemi was disbursed.

In a 22-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), they were accused of converting a total of 2,658 billion Naira between December 23, 2013 and May 28, 2015.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Disbursements

The EFCC opened trial with its first witness, Teslim Ajuwon, who was the Compliance Officer at Zenith Bank.

Mr Ajuwon said he was responsible for inquiries from regulatory agencies such as the EFCC, the police, NDLEA, among others.

He said he received inquiries from EFCC for a report of activities on some accounts, including Aruwo Consulting Limited, Extreme Vertex Limited, Southern Options Limited, Green Lemon Services and Committee on ISPS.

Mr Ajuwon further said that the bank received a request to produce account opening package of the companies as well as their financial statements.

The witness said the fourth defendant, Governor Juan, was paid 11 million Naira on September 9, 2014, while Kenzo Logistics, also a defendant, got 10 million Naira the same day.

For the Committee on ISPS account, there was an inflow of 14.2 million Naira on June 17, 2014 from Access Bank; 21.2 million Naira on March 5, 2015; 16 million Naira on May 5, 2015; and 21.2 million Naira on June 18, 2015.

He said the monies were later disbursed, leaving only 1.4 million Naira as balance on June 18, 2015.

Mr Ajuwon said that 10 million Naira was transferred to Uchenna Emenalo on June 19 while another 11 million Naira was transferred to him the same day.

He said on August 29, 2014, there was a credit of 795.2 million Naira into the Committee on ISPS account from NIMASA.

The witness said it was followed by several payments amounting to 27 million Naira to Ekene Nwauche between September 16 and November 18, 2014.

According to him, 318 million Naira was paid to Extreme Bracket on November 6, 2014, while Avant Guard Security Services got 94 million Naira.

Several other companies also received payments. According to the witness, on January 8, 2015, Soko Global Services got 15.7 million Naira; Alfa Convoy got 6.9 million Naira; R-World Consulting got 70 million Naira, while O2 Services Plus Limited got 21.2 million Naira on March 5, 2015.

Mr Ajuwon further explained that on May 28, 2015, NIMASA made a lodgment of 447 million Naira, which was also disbursed to different companies.

They include 95 million Naira to Avant Guard on May 28, 2015; 46 million Naira to R-World Consulting; and seven million Naira to Green Lemon Consulting.

During cross-examination by Mr Akpbolokemi’s lawyer, the witness said he did not see the first accused’s name in the documents he tendered.

“I’ve looked through Exhibits 1-12, I did not see the name of the first defendant,” he said.

Justice Buba, however, adjourned the case till Tuesday, January 19, 2016 for continuation of the trial.