EFCC: How Ex-NIMSA Boss, Akpobolokemi Laundered N1.5bn

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An investigation officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kanu Idagu, monday told a Federal High Court in Lagos how committees set up by the former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, was used to launder monies running into about N1.5 billion.

Idagu stated this while giving evidence at the resumed trial of Akpobolokemi alongside nine others on a 40-count charge bordering on the offence.

Others charged are: Captain Bala Agaba; Ekene Nwakuche; Felix Bob-Nabena; Captain Warredi Enisouh; Governor Juan; Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari.

Also charged are two companies; Al-kenzo Ltd and Penniel Engineering Services Ltd.
They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail by the court.

Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, the witness, told the court that the Commission received a petition in the last quarter of 2015, of some activities in NIMASA, during the period when Akpobolokemi was DG.

According to him, his team embarked on investigation and in the process, discovered that NIMASA had set up various committees some of which were used to launder monies through Companies and Bureau de Change.

He said specifically that a committee on intelligence was set up and headed by the second accused, with an Access Bank account number 0688939609 opened for the receipt of monies.

“Between December 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 staffs for their personal use,” he said.

He stated that another company, Kofa Fada Ltd, a bureau de change company was used by the second accused to transfer the N10 million.

“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.

“The second accused also transferred the sum of N86 million to one Usseinian Ltd and the dollar equivalent transferred to him,” he said
According to the witness, the third accused (Nwakuche) who is Personal Assistant to the second accused, was asked to coordinate accounts for the purpose of diverting money.

He said the third accused formulated an Enterprise Bank account in the name of Adams CDA global services, belonging to one of his friend, and transferred into it, the sum of N120 million.
He said the dollar equivalent was handed over to the second accused.

The witness said the third accused also nominated an Access Bank account for Gidoga Investment Limited, with the sum of N65 million transferred into same account.

He said in all, a total of N422, 680 million was directly transferred to the second accused, who claimed that same was remitted to the first accused.

After the witness’ oral testimony, the prosecutor then prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him present documentary evidence.

Consequently, Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned the case to December 15 and 19 for continuation.