Why EFCC dropped fraud charges against two NIMASA staff

EFCC Akpobolokemi

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday struck out the names of four accused charged with N3.4 billion fraud alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi.

Akpobolokemi was charged with nine others on a 40-count bordering on fraud.

Other accused charged with him are: Capt. Ezekiel Agaba; Ekene Nwakuche; Felix Bob-Nabena; Capt. Warredi Enisouh; Governor Juan; Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari.

Also charged with him are two companies: Al-kenzo Ltd., and Penniel Engineering Services Ltd. They were arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu and had all pleaded not guilty to the charges and granted bail by the court.

However, following the transfer of Justice Saidu from Lagos to the Port Harcourt division of the court, the case was re-assigned to Justice Ayokunle Faji.

On Friday, the prosecuting counsel, Festus Afeyiodion, informed the court of an amended 22-count, in which the names of four accused had been withdrawn.

The four accused withdrawn from the charges are Governor Juan, Ugo Frederick, Timi Alari, and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.

He urged the court to strike out the names of the four accused, while a fresh plea by the remaining accused should be taken.

The counsel for Juan, Ige Asemudara, expressed mixed feeling while reacting to the withdrawal.

Asemudara said that his client had been tormented, embarrassed, and emotionally tortured for the past two years on account of the charges.


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