How NIMASA project fund was diverted through contractor – Witness

A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, yesterday testified how N60 million was withdrawn from the account of Gama Marine Ltd, a contractor with the agency.

Akpobolokemi is standing trial over alleged theft of N754.7 million belonging to NIMASA. He is charged alongside Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Adegboyega Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Ltd.

They are standing trial on a 13-count charge bordering on stealing and forgery, preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The prosecution witness, Oliver Enwerem who is a Compliance Officer with Access Bank Plc, while being led in evidence by EFCC counsel, I.A. Muhammed, before a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos yesterday said that the money was withdrawn in three trenches from Gama Marine Ltd’s account with the bank in favour of the fifth accused.

Enwerem said that on Feb. 2, 2015, there was a credit of N67.5 million paid into Gama Marine Ltd’s account by Committee on Maritime.

He also said that on same day, there was a credit of N28 million and a N39.5 million which were paid into the account of Gama Marine Ltd.

The witness also testified that between Feb. 10 and Feb. 11, 2015, there was ‎a withdrawal of N60 million from Gama Marine, which was paid in favour of Vincent Udoye, adding that it was withdrawn in three trenches.

However, during cross examination, Enwerem admitted that the first, second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh accused were not beneficiaries in the above mentioned transactions.

At the last adjourned date, the trial was stalled due to the failure of the prosecutor who appeared for the EFCC to produce the fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation. Justice Raliat Adebiyi, after listening to the argument adjourned the case till May 4 (today), for continuation of trial.

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