The trial of the former Director General of Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NiMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and six others continued Wednesday as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Mrs. Olamide Odusanya, narrated how the former DG approved a payment of N498, 200,000, which was then disbursed into various accounts.
Odusanya, a NIMASA Assistant Director in the Financial Services Department, testified before Justice Raliat Adebiyi in a N754,740,680 fraud case brought against Akpobolokemi and six others by the EFCC.
Other defendants are Capt. Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants diverted N754.7million meant for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme at NIMASA.
Odusanya, who was cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, said requests for money to be spent by NIMASA were routed to the President through the Office of the National Security Adviser.
She added that Akpobolokemi was the agency’s Chief Accounting Officer and no financial transactions took place without his approval.
At yestetday (Tuesday).sitting, a witness also testified how a contractor, Gama Marine Limited, was used to divert N60m out of the fund meant for an audit exercise.
A Compliance Officer with Access Bank Plc, Oliver Ewerem gave the narration
The EFCC had alleged that the defendants diverted N754.7m meant for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme at NIMASA.
Ewerem was the second witness that the EFCC fielded in its bid to prove the allegations.
Led in evidence on Tuesday by the EFCC’s counsel, I. A. Muhammed, Ewerem testified that N67.5m was paid by NIMASA on February 2, 2015 into an Access Bank account belonging to Gama Marine Limited, which was supposed to be a contractor to the agency.
According to him the money was paid in two tranches of N28m and N39.450m.
Ewerem, however, said that between February 10 and 11, 2015, there were withdrawals amounting to N60m from Gama Marine Limited’s account in favour of Vincent Udoye, who is the 5th defendant in the charge filed by the EFCC.