A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Kanu Idagu on Monday before a Federal High Court in Lagos disclosed how Patrick Akpobolokemi, former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) boss, allegedly stole over N3.4billion.
The accused allegedly committed the offences between December 2013 and July 2015 and converted over N3.4 billion belonging to NIMASA to personal uses, an offence EFCC said contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (1), (3), and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012.
According to Idagu, some committees set up at NIMASA by Akpobolokemi served as conduit pipes to steal money running into billions of Naira. Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo, the witness told the court that as head of the EFCC Special Task Force, he was in charge of investigations and carries out searches and arrests.
The EFCC operative Idagu, gave his evidence when the trial of Akpobolokemi, a former director general of NIMASA, being tried alongside nine others on a 40-count charge bordering on money laundering resumed on Monday.
Charged along with the former NIMASA boss are Capt. Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Felix Bob-Nabena, Capt. Warredi Enisouh, Governor Juan, Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari. Also facing trial are two companies, Al-kenzo Ltd and Penniel Engineering Services Ltd.
According to Idagu, a committee on intelligence was specifically set up and headed by the second accused, with an Access bank account no. 0688939609 opened for the receipt of monies.
Among other evidences, Idagu told the court that “Between Dec. 20, 2013 and July 7, 2015, the committee received money in tranches running into 1.5 billion. The chairman of the committee raised several internal memos to the Director of Finance and Accounts, wherein it was claimed that the funds were to be used for intelligence-based security activities.
“The companies used in furtherance of these activities were either owned or nominated by NIMASA staff for their personal use. One of such companies was Aler Integrated services Ltd. whose alter ego was one Uche Obilor.
“Another company is Kofa Fada Ltd., a bureau de change company which the second accused instructed Obilor to transfer the sum of N10 million into. The sum of N2 million was also transferred into the account of one Al-Kenzo Logistics, whose alter ego is the third accused, Ekene Nwakuche.
“The second accused also made a claim of a business contract between NIMASA and one Kofa Fada Ltd, with the sum of N26 million transferred to the companies’ account, while the dollar equivalent was handed to him.”
All the accused however pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail by the court as Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned the case to December 15 and 19 for furtherance of trial.
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