The Lagos High Court, Ikeja, heard on Tuesday how the former Director -General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others forged company documents to steal N754million from the agency.
An investigating officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chukwuma Orji, disclosed this while being led in evidence by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, before Justice Raliat Adeniyi.
Akpobolokemi’s co-defendants are – Ezekiel Agaba, a former Executive Director of NIMASA, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Vincent Udoye, Adegboyega Olopoenia and a company — Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.
Orji said the documents of a consulting firm, Arrow World Consulting, were forged.
He said the real owner of the consulting company had unsuccessfully bidded for a NIMASA contract in the past.
Oyedepo had alleged that Akpobolokemi and other accused persons used the company name to facilitate the NIMASA fraud.
The witness said Arrow World Consulting is located at 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He said in the forged document, the company address was given as Plot 6, Kudirat Abiola Way, Ikeja, Lagos.
“The account of Arrow World Consulting was opened in Zenith Bank using forged documents, the number of the account is 1014150798,” he stated.
The witness said Arrow World Consulting never carried out any consultation services for NIMASA, adding that the funds were paid into the account operated by Nwakuche and Juan in connivance with Agaba.
Orji added: “N257million was transferred into the account of Arrow World from the Vimsat Committee account of NIMASA.
“The funds were paid into the account in conspiracy with Akpobolokemi, the Director-General and Agaba the Executive Director of NIMASA.
“There was a NIMASA memo dated May 5, 2015 signed by Agaba, authorising the payment of the N257million into the account. The instructions were given to the Bar Beach branch of Zenith Bank.
“The documents including a letter listing Arrow World’s address at Plot 6 Kudirat Abiola Way, Ikeja, Lagos, and signed on behalf of Agaba, by Juan were all forged.”