An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Orji Chukwuma, has informed a Federal High Court in Lagos, how the former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi, paid the sum of N40 million for two years rent in Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Chukwuma, the eleventh witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing trial of the former NIMASA’s Director-General, stated this while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Akpobolokemi alongside, Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistics Limited, were first arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba on December 4, 2015, for allegedly defrauding NIMASA to the tune of N2.6 billion between March and June 2014.
At the resumed trial of the accused persons on Thursday, Chukwuma tendered three documents, which were; recipient for the rent, recipient for Toyota Land cruiser Jeep bullet proof, and Asset Declaration Form, which were admitted and marked as exhibits P63 and 64, and 65.
He informed Justice Ibrahim Buba led-court that Akpobolokemi paid total sum of N40 million, which were paid in three trench of N12 million; N14 million and N14 million, for 2013, and 2014.
The witness also informed the court that the former Director-General also paid cash sum of N38.5 million to Vision Motors, for the Toyota Landcruiser Jeep Bullet Proof.
He said Akpobolokemi paid the money in five tranches of N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4, 650, million, and N10 million, between November 11, 2011, and June 19, 2013.
He also informed the court that from the Asset Declaration Form, the accused stated that he has a property worth N42 million, a Toyota Landcruiser Jeep Bullet Proof of N22.5 million.
However, he stated that from the agency’s investigation, it was discovered that the accused received a cash sum which were in USD and which were also proceeds of crime, that he used in acquiring the said properties.
He further informed the court that the accused who was a former lecturer at Niger/Delta University where he earned a little above N100, 000, has in his account at Access Bank opened for payment of all his emoluments at NIMASA over N154 million, which he never touched.
However, the matter has been adjourned till November 26 and 29 for continuation of trial.
In the charge, the EFCC alleged that Akpobolokemi and others converted to their private use the sum of N2.6 bn belonging to NIMASA.
The prosecution had alleged that on or about February 2014 in Lagos, the accused persons conspired among themselves to convert the sum of N437, 726, 666.60 belonging to NIMASA.
They were alleged to have on January 9, 2014 and April and August, 2014, converted to their own use, the sum of N21, 802, 000 and additional N53,749, 000.00, and N66,800.000 property of NIMASA.
The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to and punishable under Section 18 (a) and 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition/Amendment) Act of 2012.
All the accused persons had pleaded not guilty to the offences, and admitted to bail.