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N687.2m Fraud: Witness Reveals How He Kept $2m in His House For Ex-NIMASA DG

A prosecution witness,  Ekene Charles,  in the trial of Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, who is being prosecuted for an  alleged N687, 294, 680.00 fraud,  on Monday, November 5, 2018, told Justice Raliatu Adebiyi of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos how he once kept about $2m in his house for Akpobolokemi.

Akpobolokemi was re-arraigned today, alongside Ezekiel Bala Agaba,  a former Executive Director,  Maritime Safety and Shipping Development,  and Vincent Udoye, a former Director,  Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standard, on an amended 12-count charge bordering on stealing to the tune of N687,294,680.00.

The money,  belonging  to NIMASA,  had been released  for the implementation  of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS)."

One of the counts reads: "That you, Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi, Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba and

Vincent Udoye , between the 30th day of October, 2014 and the 6th day of May, 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable  Court with a dishonest intent converted to your own use the sum of N346, 844, 680.00 (Three Hundred and Forty Six Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Naira) only  property of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) released to you for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS)."

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to allow him to present his witness, Charles,  a Senior Administrative Offcer with NIMASA,  in the matter. .

Giving his testimony,  Charles,  who worked as Personal Assistant to Agaba, revealed to the court that Akpobolokemi, in 2014,  set up a Committee on VIMSAS and made  Agaba the Chairman of the Committee.