Witness Tells Court How NAMA Officials Diverted N263m In Three Months

ObazeeA prosecution witness in the on-going trial of the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Ibrahim Abdulsalam and six others, Babatunde Adenekan, on Thursday told a Federal High Court in Lagos how the officials of the agency allegedly diverted N263.4m between October and December 2014.

Adenekan, who is a Compliance Officer with Stanbic IBTC Bank, told the trial judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi that the N263.4m was paid in four tranches into the bank account of a contractor, Delosa Limited, after which it was transferred also in several tranches into bank accounts belonging to some officials of NAMA.

Abdulsalam was arraigned before the court alongside Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Agbolade Segun, his wife, Joy, Ayodele Adegorite, who is the Managing Director of Multeng Travels and Tours Limited, Clara Aliche, and two Limited Liability companies Randville Investment Limited, Multeng Travels and Tours Limited by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), on a 24 count charge of conspiracy and fraud.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum each.

Adenekan, who is the first prosecution witness, while being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, said, “On October 16, 2014, N38.8m came into Delosa’s account. That same day, N9m in four places were transferred into Randville Investment Limited account. That same day, N2.3m was also paid into Randville account.

“On November 11, 2014, N98.2m came into Delosa’s account. On that day, N9m in three places were transferred to Randville. Another N3m was transferred to Randville the same day, while N7.8m was transferred to Multeng and Tours Limited.

“On December 3, 2014, N88.9m came in. The same day, N9m in four places were transferred to Randville and another N2.5m was transferred to Randville.

“On December 7, 2014, N37.5m came into Delosa’s account from the Central Bank of Nigeria. On the 18th, N10m in three places were transferred to Randville Investment Limited and later another N7m on the same day,” Adenekan testified.

The witness also identified the 3 defendants, Agbolade Segun, and his wife, Susan, as the signatory to the 10 fixed deposit accounts operated by Randville Investment Limited.

Justice Kuewumi has adjourned the matter till May 30 for continuation of trial.

In the 24 count charge marked FHC/ L/ 145C/2016, it was alleged that all the accused persons and one Nnamdi Udoh still at large between January 31, 2013 and September 3, 2015, with intent to defraud and by false pretence conspired together to induce the Agency to deliver the sum of N2.8 billion, to Delosa Limited, Air Sea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd under the pretence that the said sum represented the cost of clearing consignments belonging to the Agency.

The accused persons were also alleged to have converted various sums of money amounting to over N4m belonging to the Agency, to their personal use.

Jonathan Approves New Board For Aviation Parastatals

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the composition and appointments of the Chairmen and members of the Governing Boards of Federal Government Parastatals and Agencies in the aviation sector.

The Parastatals and Agencies are the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NMA).

The approval was contained in a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim.

Mr Olusola Oke, according to the statement will be the Chairman of the board of NAMA, while Captain Kuti, C.J Udeh, Okwudili Uzoka, Amb Jerry Ugokwe, H.Z Abubakar, Lucky Umoru, Captain Megason, John Yekorogha and A Chukwuma are members.

The board of FAAN will be chaired by Dr Dan Kure, while Onuora Chinwe Leticia, Halima Hassan Tukur, Ngozi Lavender, Farouk Gumel, Amobi Nwokafor, Clement Dosunmu, Iboro Edabalge, Muneer Bankole, Henry Unaeze, Dr Al Amin, Patricia Ntofon and Niyi Agbola will serve as members.

The statement added that the board of NCAA will be chaired by Abdullahi Waziri Tambuwal, while Tony Igbanoi, Sabo Sambo, Frank Edonkumor, Captain Alkali, Alhaji Buba, Emeka Akabueze, Edward Bayo, Sokie Amakree, Ruma Mohammed and Bola Odugbasan will serve as members of the board.

Lastly, the board of NMA, according to the statement will be chaired by Yomi Akintola, with Tunde Taiwo, Jim Ogbolu, Toju Ogisi, Peter Momodu, Mrs Omikunle, Ralph Ogar, Aletche Bimbo, C.C Nwuba and Tony Odita as members.

The statement added that “the dates for the formal inauguration of the above appointed to the above Boards of Directors will be announced in due course by the Honourable Minister of Aviation.”

Aircraft We Grounded Doesn’t Belong To Rivers State – NCAA

The Acting Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Joyce Nkemakolam on Thursday said that the aircraft his agency grounded does not belong to the Rivers State government.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Nkemakolam said “that aircraft from our file does not belong to Rivers State government.”

He said that his agency’s decision to ground the airplane is a “normal occurrence”  and that the issue has been blown out of proportion.

The aviation authority boss said it is unfortunate the issue is getting so much interest within the public domain.

The clearance papers of the aircraft belonging to Bank of Salt Lake City USA had expired on April 2nd but this was only discovered on 25th which led to it being grounded at the Akure airport.

Mr. Nkemakolam argued that the lapse in administration is no fault of his organisation as the agency only acts as a regulator and that it is under the purview of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to deal with the violation.

“We give you a license and we expect you to abide by the spirits of the contents of that license; we don’t go running after people.” He said.

“We had thought that aircraft had left.”

He also disclosed that Carveton Helicopters, the agent of the foreign aircraft as shown by its clearance document, has in a letter written to the NCAA denied having any involvement with the plane.

NAMA, NIMET Partner To Ensure Air Safety In Nigeria

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have reached an agreement on how to ensure absolute safety in the Nigerian airspace and prevent loss of lives from air mishaps in the country.

Top officials of both agencies who gave updates of recent air safety measures in the country said equipment and expertise are being acquired to ensure Nigeria regains and maintains impeccable global standards in safety and security.

The two organisations introduced an instrument calibration laboratory where all air safety equipment from airports will henceforth be tested to ensure accuracy and precision in their readings.

Both agencies, responsible for weather predictions and airspace management said there is every reason to come together for absolute safety and security in the country’s airspace.