Former NigerDelta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo and seven brothers of former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi were, yesterday, arraigned before the Federal High Court, Lagos, in absentia, on a 22- count of N47.6 billion fraud.
The Akpobolokemis,’ who were arraigned in absentia with Tompolo were Igo, Julius, Stephen, Victor, Norbert, Emmanuel and Clement, and one Pondi Ebimorbowei Kestin.
They all were declared as being “now at large” when the charge was read before Justice Ibrahim Buba.
However, Akpobolokemi, two women – Josephine Otuaga and Rita Uruakpa and one Kime Engozu, who were also listed as defendants in the charge, pleaded not guilty.
Also listed as defendants in the charge charge were six companies namely Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd/GTE; Oyeinteke Global Network Limited; Wabod Global Resources Ltd.; Boloboere Properties Estate Ltd.; Gokaid Marine Oil and Gas Ltd.; Muhaabix Global Services Ltd and Watershed Associated Resources.
The 22-charge borders on conspiracy, advanced fee fraud and money laundering.
The offence according to EFCC prosecutors, Festus Keyamo are contrary to sections 8, 1(b) of Advance Fee Fraud, 18 (a), 15 (1) of Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 1 (3), 15(3) of the same Act, and 1(2)(c) Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation 2004, besides, the offence of the accused can also be punished under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
The matter has been adjourned till May 30 and 31 for trial.
Meanwhile, Orji Chukuma Aosihiuwu who is an operative of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), yesterday, gave graphic account of how the N1, 000, 258, 666. 60 allegedly looted from the agency were shared.
Aosihiuwu, who is in the Special Taskforce Unit (STU) of the agency, identified all the defendants and gave account of the role played by each of them in the N1. 6 billion scam.
He gave account of how the funds were shared among six companies Seabulk Offshore Operator Ltd- N437,726,666; Ace Prothesis Ltd- N66,800,000; Extreme Vertex Nig Ltd- N21, 802, 000.00; O2 Services Plus Ltd- N14, 200, 000. 00; Southern Offshore Ltd- N402,480,000; Caniz Limited- N12,250,000.