NIMASA Funds Were Siphoned Through My Company Account, Says Witness
A PROSECUTION witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Emeka Emenalo yesterday told a Federal High Court, Lagos, that his company was used as a channel to siphon about N72 million from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The witness, who introduced himself as sole proprietor of O2 Services Plus Nig. Ltd, made the statement at the resumed trial of the immediate past Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi and others.
He (Akpobolokemi) and others were charged by EFCC together with six others on 22 counts bordering on allegations of conversion and theft to the tune of N2.6 billion.
They are facing trial before Justice Ibrahim Buba and had all pleaded not guilty to the charges pressed against them.
Emenalo, who is the fifth witness for the prosecution, in his evidence in chief conducted by the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that his company specialises on agro-allied services as well as general contract and gets paid for its services through its bank accounts.
He told the court that he has no staff working with him, meaning that he runs the company alone. He also informed the court that sometimes in 2015, his younger brother, one Uche Emenalo sought to use his company to undertake a contract from NIMASA.
He said that his brother had informed him that the contract would be gotten through the instrumentality of the third accused (Nwakuche).
According to the witness, his brother instructed him to transfer any money paid to his company’s account as would be directed as soon as he is alerted.
He told the court that as soon as he began to receive bank alerts, he informed his brother, who in turn informed the third accused.
Emenalo told the court that on June 18, 2015 he received an alert for N14.2 million and a further alert of N21 million. He also said that on March 15, 2015 he received an alert for N21 million and on May 4, 2015 he received an alert for N16 million.
He said he was thereafter, instructed to transfer the monies to bank accounts with beneficiaries named as Blocks and Stonez Ltd and Governor Juan.
He informed the court that his company did not execute any contract for NIMASA to have necessitated payment of the various funds.