Ex-NIMASA DG Akpobolokemi, Others Buys Massaging Chairs With Intelligence Gathering Funds -Witness
A Lagos Federal High Court, today, heard how a former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime and Administration Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi and his management team recklessly spent the agency’s N18 million meant for intelligence gathering on massage chairs for themselves.
A prosecution witness, Mrs. Margaret Ekong, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, told Justice Ayokunle Faji that she supplied the chairs to Akpobolokemi.
Ekong told the court that Akpobolokemi took delivery of three of the chairs alloted to him, adding that Akpobolokemi took one of the chairs to his Banana Island house, one to his mother’s house and the last one to his house in Delta State.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness said also told the court that the second defendant in the case, Captain Bala Agaba, who is currently serving a seven year jail-term on fraud and breach of trust charges, took two of the chairs as well as others.
Mrs. Ekong further told the court that she was paid for for supplying the massaging chairs with the money voted for intelligence gathering.
According to the witness, the chairs, were supplied in 2013 and payment was made in 2014 after a series of reminders.
When Oyedepo asked the witness where she got payment for the chairs from, Ekong replied that it was from NIMASA.
The ninth prosecution witness Ekene Nwakuche also testified and he claimed that all transactions were done through cash transfer or withdrawal were his responsibility.
Nwakuche said he joined NIMASA in 2013 and was seconded as personal assistant to Agaba.
Nwakuche also told the court that the Access Bank branch on the ground floor of the NIMASA building in Apapa was the one the agency used for transactions.
Justice Faji adjourned till November 29, 30, and December 1, for continuation of trial.
Parts of the charges against the defendants read: “That you, Patrick Akpobolokemi and Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba on or about the 10th of July 2014, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court converted the sum of N86Million, property of NIMASA which sum you reasonable ought to have know forms part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.
“That you, Patrick Akpobolokemi and Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, on or about the 10th of July, 2014, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court converted the sum of N18,080,000, property of NIMASA through Kachos Nigeria Limited, which sum you reasonable ought to have know forms part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 19 of the same Act”.