How Ex-NIMASA boss, others converted N755m
An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Orji Chukwuma yesterday narrated to a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja how former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, requested for N496 million from a former National Security Adviser and converted the money to his personal use. He also told the court he allegedly transferred N504 million to Arrow World Consultancy Services Limited.
The EFCC had charged the former NIMASA boss and others for stealing over N754, 740,680.00 million belonging to NIMASA. Akpobolokemi was arraigned before Justice Raliat Adebiyi, alongside Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia, and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited, on a 13-count charge. They had pleaded not guilty to all the count preferred against them.
At the resumed hearing, when he was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness told court that the sum of N816, 200 million was fraudulently transferred between 2014 and 2015. Chukwuma who is an investigating officer with the EFCC recalled that the commission received intelligence report of a monumental fraud going on in NIMASA under the leadership of Akpobolokemi who was the Director General of the agency.
According to him, based on the fraudulent presentation of documents presented by the 1st defendant through Office of National Security Adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan, which was approved, he said the 2nd defendant and some others created an account in the name of VIMSAS, which was operated. When he was shown exhibit P9, he said it represents the fraudulent representation by the 1st defendant to NSA on May 15, 2015 and a reply from NSA dated October 15, 2015 and a payment voucher.
He further told court that there was no contract between VIMSAS and NIMASA ‘no goods, services were rendered’. N816, 200 million was moved into the account and was converted to personal use.
He also told the court that through investigations, it was discovered that fictitious contracts were awarded to some companies one of which is Arrow World Consulting and Kofa Fadan Nigeria Ltd. It was also discovered that the companies were paid for bogus contracts, which were never executed.