How fashion designer got N546m in N2.3billion NIMASA scam – Witness

Patrick Akpobolokemim former NIMASA Boss

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday commenced trial of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi with startling revelations.

Mr. Akpobolokemi and five others are standing trial before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court Lagos for N2.3billion fraud.

The court heard how a fashion designer, Chukuemeka Benjamin, was paid N546million for services not rendered by the maritime agency.

Three witnesses presented so far before the court in the matter are Teslim Adekunle, a compliance officer with the Zenith Bank Plc, Chukwuemeka Benjamin and Usaini Sabo.

Mr. Adekunle appeared before the court on Monday, while Messrs. Benjamin and Sabo appeared before Justice Buba on Tuesday.

In his testimony, Mr. Adekunle told the court that between August and October 2015, his bank received nine requests from EFCC in respect of the accounts of some companies.

The companies are Southern Offshore Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited, Extreme Vertex tex Nigeria Limited, Aroward Consulting Limited and Avant Guard Security Solution.

Others are Green Lemon Limited, Ace Prosthesis Limited, O2 Services Limited, Suco Global Limited and the Committee on International Shipping and Port Security (ISPS).

According to Mr. Adekunle, money flowed into accounts of the aforementioned companies from the account of the “Committee on ISPS”.

The witness was shown a bundle of documents, which he identified as the request letters from EFCC, response from his bank, and the statement of accounts in question.

In exhibit P10, the witness said on March 5, 2015, there was an inflow of the sum of N21,200,000 into the nine customers’ account from the Committee on ISPS.

Also on May 4, 2015, there was another inflow of the sum of N16,000,000 into same account from ISPS.

Another N21,200,000, was again paid into that same account but as at the time the last lodgment was made, there was a balance of only N1,404.93 in the account.

When the witness was asked how the money earlier credited into that account was disbursed, he said on June 19, 2015, there was an outflow of the sum of N10,000,000 and N11,200,000 to the account of Uchenna Obi, domiciled at Diamond Bank.

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