I didn’t bid for NIMASA contract but got paid, says witness
The 6th prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Akpolobokemi and others, Mr. Uchenna Emenalo, yesterday informed the court that he was paid N29 million for the contract he did not bid for by NIMASA.
Emenalo made the revelation while being cross-examined by Mr. Seni Adio, counsel to the fourth accused person in the matter. He disclosed that all he got as his share from the money was N600, 000, which he used for logistics anytime he comes to Lagos, as he resides in Owerri, Imo State.
The witness, while being led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had earlier said he got the NAMASA largesse through the third accused person, Ekene Nwakuche, who was his classmate at the university.
He told the trial judge Ibrahim Buba that when he heard that his friend (third accused) had secured a job with NIMASA, he solicited for his support to get a job.
In 2014, the third accused called and asked him to send his company name and account details. According to him, he sent the account details of his brother’s company, O2 Services Company Limited involved in supplies, agro services and construction, but not security services.
He further informed the court that Nwakuche later called to tell him that there was a contract but that it was security in nature. He told the court that he never met the tender board or bid for any contract with NIMASA.
The witness said after sending account details, his friend called him and said funds were to be paid into the account, and the funds were credited into O2 Services’ account.
He explained that after the account was credited, he called the third accused persons, who told him to wait for further directives on how the money will be disbursed.
According to him, between June 17, 2014 and June 18, 2015, he paid N14. 2 million, N21. 2 million, N16 million and N21. 2 million to various accounts as directed by the third accused person. He also said that on March 6, 2014, he withdrew N2, 450, 000, and transferred it to another account as directed by the third accused, and also on June 19, 2015, he withdrew N100, 000 for his personal use, while on March 4, 2015, the sum of N20. 9 million, and on May 6, 2015, N15. 850 million was transferred to him, and he disbursed the money as directed by the third accused person.
The witness also informed the court that during the period of the transaction, he did not write any letter to NIMASA in the name of his bother’s company.
When he was shown a document marked ‘exhibit P17a’, which contained the company’s name and account details, and signed by one Imade Charles by the prosecutor, the witness informed the court that he did not sign any document and that he did not know anyone called Imade Charles, as General Manager Field Operation of his brother’s company.
The witness, while being cross examined by counsel to the first accused person, Dr. Joseph Nwobike, (SAN), insisted that he did not write any letter for contract to NIMASA, and that the company’s details which included the account details were sent to the third accused person through text message.