A prosecution witness, Adamu Yusuf, on Monday told a Federal High Court, Lagos, how about N4.9 billion was converted into dollars by a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Mr. Akpobolokemi, former D-G of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, is charged alongside a former Commander of the Niger-Delta Military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, Emmanuel Atewe.
Also charged are Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga.
They are standing trial on 11-count charge of N8.5 billion fraud preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
When the case was called on Monday, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, led Mr. Yusuf, the second prosecution witness in Evidence-In-Chief.
The witness told the court that during investigation, it was discovered that the said N4.9 billion was handed over to the third and fourth accused persons (Engozu and Otuaga).
“At the end of our investigation, we discovered that about N4.9 billion was converted into United States dollars and the money was handed over to the third and fourth accused persons.
“We also uncovered evidence, where the accused acknowledged the receipt of the money and same was forwarded to the forensic unit for expert opinion.’’
Mr. Yusuf told the court that the accused used different companies and accounts to launder billions of money from the account of the Joint Task Force operation.
He said the companies include: Jagan Ltd; Jagan Trading Company Ltd; Jagan Global Services Ltd; Al-Nald Ltd; Paper Warehouse Ltd; Eastpoint Integrated Services Ltd and De-New link Integrated Services Ltd.
The witness further testified that during investigation, letters of request were sent to GT bank, Heritage Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC bank, as well as First City Monument Bank, FCMB.
According to the witness, the letters of request demanded for account statements of beneficiaries of that account.
After his testimony, Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned further trial till February 3, 2017.
Earlier, before the commencement of trial, the EFCC had informed the court of an amended 22-count charge and had sought to re-arraign the accused on the amended charge.
The accused were consequently re-arraigned on the amended charges, and had again all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In the charge, the anti-graft agency alleged that the accused conspired to defraud NIMASA of N8.5 billion using six companies.
The companies are: Jagan Ltd; Jagan Trading Company Ltd; Jagan Global Services Ltd; Al-Nald Ltd; Paper Warehouse Ltd; Eastpoint Integrated Services Ltd and De-Newlink Integrated Services Ltd.
The EFCC claimed that the accused committed the alleged fraud between September5, 2014 and May 20, 2015.
The offences are said to have contravened the provisions of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.
The offences are also said to have contravened the provisions of Section 390 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C. 38, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
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