Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:29 pm
By Akin Kuponiyi
An Assistant Director with Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration Agency, NIMASA, Mrs. Olamide Odusanya, made a startling revelation today before a Lagos Federal High Court,of how the immediate past Director-General of the agency, Dr. Patrick Ziadeke Akpolobokemi operated two banks accounts which were used in transferring about N2.6 billion, without the approval of the Accountant-Genaral of the Federation, (AGF).
Odusanya, an Assistant Director of International Finance Services Department of the agency, was ninth prosecution witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to testify in the on going trial of Akpolobokemi and six other accused persons
Akpobolokemi was arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside six others, on 22 counts bordering on allegations of conversion and theft to the tune of N2.6 billion.
Other accused persons are: Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, and three companies, namely Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.
When the trial resumed today Odusanya while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the said money was purportedly spent on the International Shipping and Ports Security code ISPS
She further told the court that before the agency spent any money on the ISPS code, approval was usually obtained from the presidency through the office of National Security Adviser, NSA and that there was a committee for the ISPS which the second accused person, Captain Bala Agaba was the chairman.
Before drawing any money from NIMASA’s account to ISPS’s account, such drawing must get the approval of first accused person, Akpolobokemi, who was the agency accounting officer. The agency have four operational and revenue accounts in Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB: Zenith Access Bank Plc., and another bank which she said she could not remember.
The two ISPS’s accounts were with Access Bank and Zenith Bank Plc. Adding that the agency did no get the approval of the AGF before opening the two accounts.
Prior to the evidence of the Assistant Director in the agency, two Bureau De Change operators, Yusuf Yahaya Mohammed a.k.a. Darlington, and Wakili Daudu,told the court how the second accused person, Captain Bala Agaba, sent them the sum of N230.9 million each to help them in converting to US Dollar.
Mohammed particularly told the court that the second accused was the person that gave him the money through his friend company’s Kolfar Father Nigeria Limited’s account.
He also told the court that the monies were sent to him through a company called Extreme Bethel account. He added that he did not ask for or apply for any contract with NIMASA neither did he signed any document with the agency.
The bureau de change operator while being cross-examined by Dr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, and lawyers to other accused persons, informed the court that he only know the second accused, Agaba, and that he did not know other accused persons.
But Dauda, the second bureau de change operator, informed the court that he did not know any of the accused persons.
The matter has been adjourned till March 1, for continuation of trial.
In the 22-count charge, the accused were alleged to have converted to their use, a total of N2.6 billion between December 23, 2013 and May 28, 2015.