A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of former director general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Apobolokeme and six others, yesterday told a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere how the accused persons laundered the sum of N60 million through Access Bank Plc.
The witness, Oliver Ewerem, a compliance officer with Access Bank,
told the trial judge, Justice Raliat Adebiyi that the money was paid by a committee of NIMASA into the account of Gama Marine Ltd, a contractor with the agency, and it was later withdrawn by one of the accused persons, Vincent Udoye.
Akpobolokemi was arraigned alongside Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited on
a13-count charge of stealing and forgery
The 1st to 5th defendants, Akpobolokemi, Captain Agaba, Nwakuche, Juan, Udoye) were alleged to have between October 30, 2014 and May 6, 2015, converted to their personal use, N754,740,680.00 million property of NIMASA released to them for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS).
They all pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Ewerem, who was being led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, I. A Muhammed also informed the court that the money was withdrawn in three tranches from Gama Marine Ltd’s account with Access Bank in favour of the fifth accused person.
The witness also testified that on February 2, 2015, there was a credit of N67.450million paid into Gama Marine Ltd’s account by committee of Marine Time.