Patrick Akpobolokemi: How Ex-NIMASA Boss Authorised Diversion Of Agency’s Funds – Witness


Odusanya, who is a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the ongoing trial of Akpolobokemi and six others, disclosed this to the Lagos State high court in Igbosere on Wednesday, May 4.

She alleged that Akpobolokemi authorised that NIMASA’s account be credited with N498,200,000, which was later disbursed to some of the defendants in the trial.

The former director and six others are being tried on a 13-count charge of stealing and  forgery.

Other defendants are Captain Ezekiel Agaba,  Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.

They allegedly converted N754,740,680.00 million property of NIMASA, released to them for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS),to their personal use between October 30, 2014 and May 6, 2015.

While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Odusanya also told the trial judge, Justice Raliat Adebiyi that Akpolobokemi was an ‘A’ signatory to NIMASA’s two bank accounts owned by the agency’s Committee of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS), one of which was with Access Bank.

She said that she was a ‘B’ signatory to the two accounts and that the accounting officer of NIMASA is the CEO, that is, the director-general.

She stated that the director-general approved all payment instructions. Odusanya also identified the first to sixth defendant as former NIMASA officials.

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“The DG/CEO (Akpobolokemi) approved the payment of N498,200,000 on August 29, 2014 to the defendants. The approval is on the Electronic Payment Schedule, which states ‘Approved, please comply,” she said.

Odusanya also identified Captain Ezekiel Agaba, former NIMASA executive director,Maritime Safety & Shipping Development as the chairman of committee of VIMSAS.

She also listed how money was disbursed into several accounts owned by different companies and persons.

According to her, on September 16, 2014, a memo from the office of the second defendant, Agaba, initiated the withdrawal of N3 million in favour of third defendant, Nwakuche.

On September 29, there was a transfer of N1,400,000 to Lakewood Gardens Ventures Ltd, while N61,000,000 was transferred to Kofa Fada Nigeria Ltd, on October 30, she said.

Odusanya also confirmed that N6 million was withdrawn in favour of Nwakuche in two tranches of N3m on November 28 and December 17.

She testified that in 2015, Gama Marine Ltd got N39,450,000 on February 2, while Committee on Third Strategic Admiralty was paid N25,000,000.

“On May 20, 2016, N318,000,000 was paid into VIMSAS Committee Account. The sum was approved by the first defendant,” the witness said.

She added that the payment was made to a UBA account and identified all the NIMASA memos and documents authorising the transaction before same were admitted as exhibits by the court.

Justice Adebiyi adjourned the matter till Thursday, May 5 for continuation of trial.

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