Wednesday, 3 February 2016

I Got N905m from NIMASA for Doing Nothing – Witness Tells Court

Uche Obilor, a Prosecution Witness (PW) in the ongoing trial of a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi and six others, yesterday revealed how he collected several millions of Naira from the agency without executing any contract.    
Obilor, who  is the Managing Director of  three companies, Ace Prosthesis Limited, Seabulk Offshore Limited, and Southern Offshore Limited, told the court that N905, 8million was paid into the companies’ two bank accounts even though he did not tender any proposal for contracts to the agency.
Akpobolokemi was arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos  alongside three others – Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan – and three companies, Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited by  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a 22-count charge filed by EFCC, they were alleged to have converted N2,658,957,666 between December 23, 2013 and May 28 last year. The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
Obilor, who explained how he got the money, was led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
On how his companies got the deal, Obilor said he was approached by Captain Agaba (second defendant) who said his companies have been awarded a contract to assist NIMASA meet the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code for 2014.
He also told the court that shortly after the money was paid, he was told by the second defendant to stay execution on the contract.
He also disclosed that the second defendant later directed him to transfer the money into different accounts until N54 million was left in the accounts.
Under cross examination, by Dr. Joseph Nwobike  (SAN) lawyer to Akpobolokemi (first defendant) Obilor told the court that he held several meetings with the second defendant adding that the remaining N54million left in the account had been transferred to the coffers  of the Federal Government.
When asked by lawyer to the second defendant Mr. E G Onyeka whether he (Obilor) was aware that two of his staff issued and signed several invoices to NIMASA, he said ‘’I am on top of the whole exercise and I am unaware that they signed any document’’.
Justice Buba has adjourned further hearing in the matter till February 5, 16 and 19 respectively.


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