NIMASA fraud: Court adjourns Obi’s trial till September

Calistus Obi

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, adjourned on Tuesday, the continuation of trial of a former Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Calistus Obi, until Sept. 26, 27 and 28.

Obi is charged with an alleged N136 million fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency had filed an eight-count charge against Obi, who was a former Executive Director, and later, a former Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

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

They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail in the sum of N5 million each, with sureties in like sum.

On Tuesday, the case was adjourned to Sept. 26 for continuation of trial following a letter by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, informing the court of his absence as he was before the National Judicial Council.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, consequently adjourned the case until Sept. 26, 27 and 28, for continuation of trial.

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

The court had, however, dismissed the no-case submission on Feb. 21, 2017 and ordered the defence to open its case.

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

According to the EFCC, they allegedly conspired to convert the money from NIMASA, with knowledge that same were proceeds of stealing.

The offences contravene the provisions of Sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibitions (Amendment) Act, 2012.