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‘How NIMASA used my document to secure fake contract’

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A bureau de Change operator, Mohammed Yahaya, yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos State how the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) under the leadership of Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi used his letterhead to secure fake contracts.

Akpolobokemi, a former director-general of NIMASA, and others are standing trial before Justice Ayotunde Faji on a N3.4 billion fraud charge levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).Others standing trial alongside Akpolobokemi are Capt. Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Felix Bob-Nabena, Capt. Warredi Enisouh, Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari, as well as two companies, Al-Kenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.

The defendants are accused of converting N3.4 billion belonging to NIMASA to personal use.They have all pleaded not guilty to the offences allegedly committed between December 2013 and July 2015 and have been granted bail.At the resumed trial yesterday, Hausa-speaking Yahaya, through an interpreter, told the court that he changed naira to dollars for the agency through the second defendant, Capt. Agaba, on four occasions between 2014 and 2015.

He said the meeting point for the transaction between him and Agaba were Eko Hotel in Victoria Island and Protea Hotel in Ikoyi. When asked by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, if he gave his company’s letterhead with any content to Agaba, the witness said: “It was plain letterhead that I gave to the second defendant.”

He said he knew Wakilu Dauda as director of Kofa Fada Limited and not one Emmanuel Anumache.When confronted with another exhibit ‘Letter of award of contract of engagement on intelligence gathering’, he denied knowing anything about the contract, adding that Kofa Fada Limited never applied for any contract at NIMASA.

The witness also denied asking NIMASA for payment of N115.8 million and N119.5 million for contracts done for the agency.Further hearing on the matter was adjourned till June 24, 2019.


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