An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Orji Chukwuma, claimed on Friday that a former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and others diverted a sum of N496m belonging to the agency.
Chukwuma claimed that the money was approved in July 2014 by a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme in NIMASA.
Chukwuma stated this on Friday at the resumed trial of Akpobolokemi and six others for an alleged theft of N754.7m belonging to NIMASA.
The defendants were arraigned on January 25, 2016 on 13 counts before Justice Raliat Adebiyi.
Those standing trial alongside Akpobolokemi are Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Vincent Udoye, Adegboyega Olopoenia and Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.
Led in evidence on Friday by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, Chukwuma, who appeared as prosecution witness, said, “The first defendant (Akpobolokemi) raised a memo to the office of the NSA.
“The memo requested the sum of N496m and attached to the memo was a detailed table describing how the money was to be spent.
“After the money was disbursed, the first defendant made a request that the said sum be transferred to a private Zenith Bank account with number 1013961926.”
Chukwuma told the court that investigations by the EFCC revealed that the defendants laundered the money through award of fictitious contracts to some companies, while the awards were never executed.
“Two of those companies were Arowald Consulting and Kofa Fada Nigeria Limited. We spent two days searching for the location and addresses of these companies.
“Investigations revealed that N11m was transferred to one Nkechi Aneke, who was a relative of a lady captain working in NIMASA.
“We invited her to the EFCC where, during interrogation, she claimed she had no idea how the money got into her account. She eventually refunded the money to the Commission,” the witness said.
Chukwuma further told the court that the third defendant illegally made eight different withdrawals of N3m from the NIMASA account on the instruction of the second defendant.
Justice Adebiyi adjourned further proceedings in the case till November 30.