Court Discharges NIMASA Director, Bob-Nabena on Corruption Charges

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Davidson Iriekpen

A director with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Felix Bob-Nabena, has been discharged by a Federal High Court in Lagos of wrongdoing on the charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The discharged was sequel to the striking of his name following an amended charge dated and filed on June 28, 2019 before the court. Also discharged by the court were two others; Ekene Nwakuche and Al-Kenzo Limited.

In charge No: FHC/L/496C/15 in December 2015, the EFCC had arraigned Bob-Nabena with the former Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, along with nine others on alleged offences bordering on corruption and fraud.

After hearing the amended charge, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo and A. U. Mohammed, unanimously urged the court presided over by Justice A.O. Faji to discharge Bob-Nabena, Ekene Nwakuche and Al-Kenzo Ltd.

The prosecution counsel urged the court to strike out the names of the three accused, a plea that was eventually granted by the court.

A fresh plea was subsequently taken by Akpobolokemi, Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba as well as Captain Warredi Enisuoh.

Responding to the withdrawal notice of the prosecution counsel, the counsel for Bob-Nabena, Mr. C. Ogbonna, while commending the court for its decision, expressed mixed feelings, noting that his client had been tormented, embarrassed, and emotionally tortured for the past four years on account of the charges.

The EFCC had arraigned Akpobolokemi and nine others on a 40-count charge.

The charge was amended on February 22, 2017 with Akpobolokemi and five others, freeing four of the accused, before the last amendment on June 28, 2019 which led to the discharge of Felix Bob-Nabena.