N136m fraud: Court resumes trial of ex-NIMASA DG Obi Thursday

Federal High Court, Lagos

A Federal High Court on Wednesday in Lagos adjourned the trial of a former acting Director-General of NIMASA, Callistus Obi, charged with N136 million fraud until Sept. 27.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission preferred eight charges against Obi, who was a former Executive Director and later, former acting Director-General NIMASA.

Obi was charged alongside one Alu Dismas, who was an aide to a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

Each of the accused men had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were subsequently granted bail in the sum of five million naira each, with sureties in like sums.

On Wednesday, the parties were present in court but the case was adjourned until Sept. 27, which is an already existing trial date on the instructions of the court.

Continuation of the trial will, therefore, resume on Thursday.

The EFCC had closed the case for the prosecution on Jan. 31, 2017, while the defence filed a no-case submission.

However, the Judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, had dismissed the no-case submission on Feb. 21, 2017 and ordered the defence to open its case.

The defence had since opened its case and had begun giving evidence.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences on Aug. 5, 2014.

The EFCC alleged that the accused conspired to convert various sums of money from the coffers of NIMASA, knowing that the funds were proceeds of theft.

According to the anti-graft agency, the offences contravene the provisions of Sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibitions (Amendment) Act, 2012.