EFCC to arraign ex-JTF commander, Akpobolokemi, others June 3

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will on June 3 arraign a former Commander of the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, for alleged N8 billion fraud.

Atewe, now Chief of Logistics, Defence Headquarters, was charged alongside the former Director- General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi.

The new charge before Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court in Lagos is the sixth the EFCC would file against Akpobolokemi.

The arraignment was stalled after Akpolobokemi objected to the reading of the charge because, according to him, he was not served with the charge and proof of evidence.

Akpolobokemi said he was not aware of the scheduled arraignment, adding that he left the hospital to attend his trial in another criminal charge before Justice Ibrahim Buba.

He said neither him nor his lawyer, who was absent, was notified about the arraignment.

But, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, said the charge and proof of evidence were served on the accused lawyer’s firm, Dr. Joseph Nwobike & Co., which was received by one of the lawyers in the chambers.

The prosecution, which also named Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuga in the charge, said NIMASA, under Akpobolokemi, approved billions of naira to several military personnel, who were purportedly engaged to patrol the creeks to prevent pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering.

The funds, EFCC said, were allegedly diverted to private accounts through fraudulent means.

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