Witness Tells Court How Ex-NIMASA DG Secured Two Years Rent in Banana Island

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Davidson Iriekpen

A witness, Orji Chukwuma, wednesday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, paid N40 million to secure rent in Banana Island.

Chukwuma, the 11th witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), gave the testimony at the resumed trial of Akpobolokemi, a former DG of NIMASA.

He was charged alongside five others on a 22-count charge bordering on N2.6 billion conversion and theft.
Others charged are Captain Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche and Governor Juan as well as Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Ltd and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.

Led in evidence by the prosecutor, yesterday, the witness tendered three documents, which were; receipts for rent, a Toyota Landcruiser Jeep bullet proof, and an Asset Declaration Form.
These were admitted and marked as exhibits P63, 64, and 65.

He informed the court presided by Justice Ibrahim Buba that Akpolobokemi paid a total sum of N40 million in three tranches of N12 million; N14 million and N14 million, representing two years rent in Banana Island.

The witness also told the court that the former DG also paid the sum of N38.5 million cash to Vision Motors for the Toyota Landcruiser Jeep Bullet Proof.

He said Akpolobokemi 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.

According to him, this was done between November 11, 2011, and June 19, 2013.
He said the agency’s investigation, revealed that the accused receive cash sums in dollars which were revealed to be proceeds of crime, adding that same was used in acquiring the said properties.

Justice Buba adjourned the case to November 26 and 29 for continuation of trial.
In the charge, the accused were alleged to have converted to their use, a total of N2.6 billion between December 23, 2013 and May 28, 2015.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (1), 15 (3), and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2012.