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‘Approved NIMASA funds were looted’




Witness denies paying Ohakim in dollars

An Assistant Director in the Financial Services Department of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mrs. Olamide Odunsanya, yesterday said that the former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, approved payment of some amount of monies, part of which were allegedly looted.

Odusanya, who is a witness for the EFCC testified before Justice Raliat Adebiyi of an Igbosere High Court that the said amount were not retired by the former D-G.

She affirmed that part of the money included N498.2m, which was approved in 2014 for the implementation of the Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) project by NIMASA.

Meanwhile, a prosecution witness in the trial of former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, has told a Federal High Court that the ex-governor lied by telling investigators that he earned dollars from a transaction between two of them.

Mr. Scott Tommey, a Port Harcourt-based businessman, testified yesterday in Abuja that he bought land in Maitama, Abuja, in 2012 from Ohakim.
In Charge No. LD/2181C/15, Akpobolokemi and six others were alleged to have diverted part of the money meant for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme at NIMASA. 
The others are Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche,
Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.

During the cross examination by Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC counsel, Odusanya stated that by a letter written to the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) dated April 15, 2015, Akpobolokemi obtained approval for N498.2m from the President.

She affirmed that the process was repeated for another N318m and that both funds were released “in preparation for the implementation of the VIMSAS project.”

However, under cross examination by first defendant’s counsel, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), the witness admitted that she was not a member of VIMSAS Committee and was neither aware of how it negotiated with contractors nor the process leading to payments made by the Committee.

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