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Friday 14 October 2016

How Akpobolokemi Spent N2.6bn on Bullet-Proof Car and Rent as NIMASA DG - EFCC Makes New Revelation

Patrick Akpobolokemi
New revelations have been made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against an ex NIMASA DG as his trial over corrupt dealings continues 
The EFCC has on Friday brought the receipt of a bulletproof car allegedly bought by a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, before a Federal High Court in Lagos.
According to The Punch, also brought to court on Friday by the anti-graft agency was a document issued by an estate surveyor showing how Akpobolokemi allegedly paid for his rented apartment situated on Ondo Street, Banana Island, Lagos.
The EFCC brought the documents to court in furtherance of its claim that Akpobolokemi and five others defrauded NIMASA to the tune of N2.6bn while Akpobolokemi was the DG.
Charged with Akpobolokemi were Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Ltd., and Al-Kenzo Logistics Ltd.
They were arraigned last December before Justice Ibrahim Buba, but pleaded not guilty.
At the resumed trial on Friday, the EFCC’s 12th and last witness, Orji Chukwuma, continued his testimony against the accused.
The Punch reports that led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, Chukwuma said, “The first defendant (Akpobolokemi) brought a document to us in relation to how he paid for his rented apartment on Ondo Street, Banana Island, Lagos.

“He also attached a document from an estate surveyor on payments of his house rent.

“The first defendant also submitted to the Commission a receipt for the purchase of a bulletproofed car.”
However, attempt by the prosecutor to tender the documents in evidence against the accused was resisted by Akpobolokemi’s lawyer, M.M. Ajuwa, who argued that he had yet to be served with a copy of the document.
Ajuwa contended that before the court could admit the documents in evidence and mark them as exhibits against his client, the documents must first be front-loaded in compliance with Section 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The EFCC prosecutor admitted that he had yet to serve the defence counsel with the documents.
In a short ruling, Justice Buba upheld Ajuwa’s objection to the admissibility of the documents.
“It is sacrosanct that every accused person shall be given the opportunity to defend himself and must be served with necessary documents, including documents he (accused) submitted to the EFCC,” the judge ruled.
He adjourned till October 26, 2016 for continuation of trial.

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