N3.4bn fraud: BDC operator tells court how Akpolobokemi secure fake contracts

A Bureau De Change operator, Mohammed Yusuf Yahaya, today, told a Federal High Court, Lagos, how Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA) under the leadership of Dr. Patrick Ziadeke Akpolobokemi, used his letterhead paper to secure fake contracts.

Yahaya who is the ninth witness called in the trial of Dr. Akpolobokemi, a former Director General of NiMASA and others who are standing trial before Justice Ayotunde Faji-led court on N3.4 billion fraud charge leveled agaiyhim by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Others standing trial alongside Akpolobokemi are: Captain Bala Agaba; Ekene Nwakuche; Felix Bob-Nabena; Captain Warredi Enisouh; Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari and  two companies; Al-kenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.

The defendants are being accused of converting the sum of N3.4 billion belonging to NIMASA to their personal use.

The said offences which contravened   provisions of sections 15 (1), (3), and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012, were allegedly committee between December 2013 and July 2015.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the offences and admitted to bail in some terms.

At the resumed trial of the defendant today, the witness while being led-in-evidence by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, but gave evidence in Hausa language through an interpreter told the court that he changed Naira to Dollars to the agency through the second defendant, Captain Agaba on four occasions between 2014 and 2015. 

He also told the court that the meeting point for the exchange of Naira to Dollars between him and Agaba were Eko Hotel in Victoria Island and Protia Hotel, beside Military Hospital, Awolowo road, Ikoyi, all in Lagos State.

When asked by the prosecutor if he gives his company’s letter head paper with any content to Captain Agaba, the witness said: “it was plain letter head papers that I gave to the second defendant”.

When also probed if he know someone called Emmanuel Anumache, who claimed to be Director of Operations and Chief Executive Officer of Kofa Fada Limited. He responded and said he did not know anyone with such name, adding that the Only director of Kofa Fada Limited is on Wakilu Dauda.

When confronted with another exhibit titled ‘letter of award of contract of engagement on intelligence gathering’, he denied knowing anything about the contract, while also told the court that Kofa Fada Limited never apply for any contract at NIMASA.

The witness also denied asking NIMASA for payment of the sum of N115.8 million and N119.5 million for contract done for the agency, as he told the court that neither him or Kofa Fada Limited applied to the agency for any contract.

Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till June 24 and 28 and October 2 4, 21,23 and 28.

Akpobolokemi and others are standing trial before the court on a 40 count-charge bordering on the offence.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offence between December 2013 and July 2015.
They were alleged to have converted over N3. 4 billion belonging to NIMASA, to their personal uses.
The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (1), (3), and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Amendment Act, 2004

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