EFCC Witness Reveals How N754m Was Allegedly Diverted By Ex-NIMASA Boss – What He Revealed Will Shock You
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja was yesterday told how the former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and others requested for N496 million from a former National Security Adviser and diverted it to their personal use.
Given evidence before Justice Raliat Adebiyi, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Orji Chukwuma also revealed that Akpobolokemi equally transferred N504 million to a company, Arrow World Consultancy Services Limited.
Presently Akpobolokemi is answering a 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing of over N754, 740,680.00 million belonging to NIMASA. alongside Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia, and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.
They had pleaded not guilty to all the count preferred against them. Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness (Chukwuma) told court that the sum of N816,200 million was fraudulently converted and transferred between 2014 and 2015.
He said in the cause of investigation, it was discovered that the defendants converted money meant for the purchase of some items for NIMASA to personal use.
Chukwuma who is an investigative officer with the EFCC recalled that the commission received intelligence report of alleged monumental fraud going on in NIMASA under the leadership of Akpobolokemi who was the Director General of the agency as at that time.
According to the witness, based on the fraudulent presentation of documents presented by the 1st defendant through Office of National Security Adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan, which was approved, he said an account was created in the name of a company, VIMSAS which was operated by the 2nd defendants and some others.
When he was shown exhibit P9, he said it represented the alleged fraudulent representation by the 1st defendant to NSA on May 15, 2015 and a reply from NSA dated October 15, 2015 and a payment voucher. He said: “ Exhibit P10 represent a letter from NIMASA dated June 20,2014 and a correspondence from ONSA on July 30,2014 a payment voucher.
The NSA approved the sum of N498million but the investigation revealed contrary. “A request of N318million was made and attached to the list of things to purchase but investigation revealed that the money was converted as against the list.
There was instruction to move N498,200m from NIMASA account to VIMSAS account no 1013961926 domiciled in Zenith Bank.
The 1st defendant gave the order for the transfer. “On exhibit P9, a mandate to transfer N318million to VIMSAS account with Zenith Bank account and was approved by the 1st defendant.
We wrote to the bank and we received responses on the activities on the account. “It also showed that 2nd defendant is signatory to the account. On September 24 and November 16, 2014, a withdrawal of N3 million was made by the 3rd defendant on each day.
On April 29,2014 an out flow of N11 million by Liquid Garden and converted.” He further told the court that there was no contract between VIMSAS and NIMASA’ no goods, services were rendered, only that N816,200 million was moved into the account and was converted to personal use.
“Also, the sum of N318 million was also transferred to the Zenith Bank account which we discovered was used for personal purposes,” he said.
He also told the court that through investigations, it was discovered that fictitious contracts were awarded to some companies one of which is Arrow World Consulting and Kofa Fadan Nigeria Ltd..
It was also discovered that the companies were paid for bogus contracts which were never executed. “During investigations, we spent two days searching for the address of the company which we finally located. “We also discovered that the sum of N11 million was transferred to one Aneke Julie Nkechi.
It was discovered that she is related to Lady Captain in NiMASA. She was invited to the EFCC’s office where she claimed that she didn’t know how the money got into her account but later refunded the money to the Commission,” he said.
“One of the defendants Ekene Nwakuche made eight withdrawals of N3 million each through the instruction of Captain Ezekiel Agaba,” he added.
The court therefore admitted in exhibit, a statement made 1st and second defendants. While Edoka Onyeke objected to the additional statement attached.
The matter was subsequently adjourned till November 30, 2016 for trial within trial.