The 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.