EFCC uncovers alleged theft of another N40billion by ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi

Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi
Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, former DG, NIMASA

A day after he was re-arrested in front of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has slammed two separate charges on Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and others.

In one of the new charges filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos, Mr. Akpobolokemi faces 40 counts of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N34.5billion.

In the second charge filed before a Lagos State High Court, Mr. Akpobolokemi is accused of stealing N600million.

Both cases are yet to be assigned even as the embattled former NIMASA chief battle to secure his release on bail, pending arraignment in court.

Mr. Akpobolokemi was bundled by security operatives into a waiting bus outside the court, Monday, after he refused their directives to return with them to the EFCC office.

The former Director General was re-arrested after Justice Buba Ibrahim adjourned his trial to January 18, 2016.

The EFCC had instituted criminal charges to the tune of N2.3 billion against Mr. Akpobolokemi and five others before Mr. Buba.

Sources at the EFCC disclosed that the Commission had to re-arrest the former NIMASA boss on Monday following fresh evidence of fraud.

Mr. Akpobolokemi’s arrest is on the strength of fresh evidence that he allegedly converted the sum of N11.7billion and another N816 million meant for the development of the temporary site of the proposed Nigeria Maritime University, Kurutie, Warri South Local Government area of Delta State, for his personal use.

The suspect was said to have obtained a presidential approval of N13billion through the office of the then National Security Adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki, for the acquisition and development of a temporary site for the Nigeria Maritime University.

Mr. Dasuki himself is facing multiple charges of fraud and embezzlement of public funds.

Out of the N13billion approved for the university, N11.7billion was allegedly paid into a company suspected to be owned by Government Ekpemopolo (popularly known as Tompolo), an EFCC source said.

After the said money was paid, investigation further showed that N6billion was then moved into another account belonging to one of the associates of Mr. Akpobolokemi, the source added.

Also, the sum of N816million allegedly obtained through a presidential approval for the Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Members State Audit (VIMSAS) implementation in Nigeria, was allegedly diverted to Mr. Akpobolokemi’s personal use, the EFCC source further added.

Mr. Akpobolokemi and seven other NIMASA staff were arraigned on December 3 before Justice Salihu Sa’idu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on a 30-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent conversion of funds, and money laundering.

The accused persons allegedly conspired to launder several billions of naira under the guise of providing security intelligence around the maritime domain.

The accused who were earlier arraigned on December 4 before Justice Ibrahim Buba include Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Ameche Juan, Blockz and Stonez Nigeria Limited and Al-Kenzo Nigeria Limited. They were arraigned by the EFCC on a 22-count charge and were granted bail in the sum of N50 million each.

The accused who were earlier arraigned on December 4 before Justice Ibrahim Buba include Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Ameche Juan, Blockz and Stonez Nigeria Limited and Al-Kenzo Nigeria Limited. They were arraigned by the EFCC on a 22-count charge and were granted bail in the sum of N50 million each.

The accused, who were earlier arraigned on December 4 before Justice Ibrahim Buba, include Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Ameche Juan, Blockz and Stonez Nigeria Limited and Al-Kenzo Nigeria Limited. They were arraigned by the EFCC on a 22-count charge and were granted bail in the sum of N50 million each.


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