The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi and eight others on a 40-count charge bordering on money laundering and stealing before Justice I. N. Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The other defendants are: Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, Odimiri Electricals Ltd, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Ltd, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Ltd, Gregory Mobunu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
Counsel to the prosecution, Festus Keyamo, presented a 40 count charge to the court which excluded Mr. Government Ekpemokulo a.k.a Tompolo who has been at large in order to enable the other defendants take their plea.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Patrick Akpobolokemi, Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, between April 2013 and March 2014, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an offence, to wit: Conversion of the sums of N1,064,670,641.67 (One Billion, Sixty-Four Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-One Naira, Sixty Seven Kobo) and $51, 290, 213.44 (Fifty-One Million, Two Hundred and Ninety Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirteen Dollars, Forty-Four Cents), property of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, knowing that the said sums were proceeds of stealing, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (Amended) 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the counts when read to them.
Keyamo informed the court that some of the defendants were granted bail in a similar court and therefore urged his lordship to impose conditions that will enable the defendants attend to their trial.
Justice Buba granted each of the defendants bail in the sum of N50 million and one responsible surety in like sum. However, for the 9th accused, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, he was granted bail in the sum of N10 million and one responsible surety in like sum.
The sureties and the accused persons are to deposit two passport photographs each and their international passports with the court registrar.
The defendants are to be remanded in prison custody till the perfection of their bail conditions.
Justice Buba adjourned the case to May 23, 24, 25 and 26 2016 for hearing.
Patrick Akpobolokemi, the former Director General of NIMASA and five others are also facing trial in a separate charge before Justice Buba for alleged diversion of over Two Billion Naira. Others are Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Ameche Juan, Blokz and Stonz Limited and Alkenzo Logistics Limited.
At the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, Akpobokemi alongside six others – Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Ade Sahib Olopoenia and Gama Marine Nigeria Limited – are facing trial on a 13 count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing and fraudulent conversion of funds to the tune of N697,294,680 (six hundred and eighty seven million, two hundred and ninety four thousand, six hundred and eighty naira) .
The presiding judge, Justice R. I B. Adebiyi has adjourned to April 14 and 20 for continuation of trial.