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Trial of Akpobolokemi: Accused Turn Prosecution Witnesses


The trial of former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, took a dramatic turn on Monday as three of his co-defendants accepted to become prosecution witnesses.
When proceedings resumed on Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to re-arraigned the accused persons on amended charges.
Akpobolokemi is facing a N754.8m fraud trial alongside Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Vincent Udoye, Adegboyega Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Ltd.
They were all initially facing a 13-count charge of stealing and fraud over alleged theft of N754.8m belonging to the agency proffered by EFCC.
After a deal was secured between the EFCC and some of the defendants, Nwakuche, Juan and Olopoenia decided to testify for the prosecution, making Akpobolokemi to now face trial alongside Agaba and Udoye, both former Executive Directors of NIMASA.
The trio face a 12-count charge of conspiracy, forgery and stealing a N687.2m. They have since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Nwakuche, Akpobolokemi’s former co-defendant, who is the tenth prosecution witness and a former Personal Assistant to Adaba testified against the embattled former maritime boss.
Justice Raliatu Adebiyi adjourned the case to Nov. 30 for continuation of trial.

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