The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned a former Commander of the military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in the Niger Delta, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewe (retd.), for an alleged fraud of N8.537bn.
The retired military officer was re-arraigned on 22 counts of money laundering alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Standing trial with Atewe and Akpobolokemi before Justice Saliu Saidu of a Federal High Court in Lagos are Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga.
The defendants were first arraigned on May 27 on 11 counts but the EFCC amended the charges to 22, leading to their re-arraignment on Monday.
Atewe, Akpobolokemi and the others were accused of siphoning N8.5bn from NIMASA sometime in 2014 using six companies.
The companies allegedly used by them to divert the money were listed as Jagan Trading Company Ltd, Jagan Global Services Ltd, Al-Nald Ltd, Paper Warehouse Ltd, Eastpoint Integrated Services Ltd and De-Newlink Integrated Services Ltd.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Justice Saidu adjourned till February 3 and 20, 2017 for trial.