Government

Tailor Credited N546.8 million testifies in NIMASA theft case

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The Federal Court was yesterday stunned by a prosecution witness who explained how his account was credited the sum of N546.8 million by an official of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The prosecution witness, Chukwuemeka Benjamin Onuoha who is a fashion designer claims to have no relationship whatsoever with the Federal agency, he further explained that his company, Extreme Vertevex Limited was used in siphoning the millions from NIMASA being payment for a contract which was neither awarded not executed by him.

This shocking report was revealed in the on-going theft trial of the former NIMASA boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi. The fashion designer who was the second witness called upon during the trial of the ex NIMASA boss and six others over alleged the for of NIMASA’s N2.6 billion.

Akpobolokemi who was arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba along with three others – Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan – and three companies, namely Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited in a twenty-two count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accusing the above listed names of siphoning and diverting between December 23, 2013 and May 28, 2015 a sum total of N2,658,957,666 with the accused parties pleading not guilty.

The N546.8 million which was paid into the witness’ Zenith bank account was disbursed by the third accused who also was his secondary school mate. He narrated further how Nwakuche who was employed by NIMASA had requested his company and bank account details not to long after he met to plead for contract at his job which led to the third accused, Nwakuche asking if he had a registered company name which could be used for transaction purpose.

Onuoha detailed the credit alert with dates of the deposits into his company account which cummulatively amounted to N546,802,000. The sum total was paid in three batches with the first payment being on August 2014 when he received N21, 802, 000. On November 6, 2014; he also received the sum of N318 million and lastly on November 25, 2014 he received alert of N207 million into his account. The money which was later transferred into different a accounts as directed by Nwakuche.

Patrick Akpobolokemi when being cross examined by Dr. Joseph Nwobike SAN told the court he had never met neither had he ever received instructions from him.

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