An Assistant Director with Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration Agency, NIMASA, Mrs. Olamide Odusanya, has revealed that the immediate past Director-General of the agency, Dr Patrick Ziadeke Akpolobokemi operated two banks accounts which he used to transfer about N2.5 billion.
According to her, these accounts were never approved by the Accountant-Genaral of the Federation, AGF and were therefore an illegal means for siphoning public funds.
Odusanya, the ninth prosecution witness presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to testify in the trial of Akpolobokemi and other six accused persons before the Federal High Court, Lagos made the revelation on Thursday.
Odusanya, an Assistant Director of International Finance Services Department of the agency, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, in the resumed trial, informed the court that the said money was expended on the International Shipping and Ports Security code.
She further informed the Justice Ibrahim Nasir Buba led-court said before the agency spend any money on the ISPS code, approval is usually obtained from the presidency through the office of National Security Adviser, NSA.
Further, Odusanya told the court that there was a committee for the ISPS which the second accused person, Captain Bala Agaba, was the chairman, noting that before drawing any money from NIMASA’s account to ISPS’s account, such withdrawal must get the approval of first accused person, Akpolobokemi, who was the agency accounting officer.
She also stated that the agency has four operational and revenue accounts in Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB: Zenith Bank: Access Bank Plc., and another bank which she said she could not remember, adding that the two ISPS’s accounts were with Access Bank and Zenith Bank Plc.
Prior to this revelation, two Bureau De Change operators, Yusuf Yahaya Mohammed a.k.a. Darlington, and Wakili Daudu, had earlier informed the court that Captain Bala Agaba, sent the sum of N230, 920 million to them for conversion to US Dollar.
Mohammed particularly informed the court that the second accused was the person that gave him the money through his friend company’s Kolfar Father Nigeria Limited’s account and further said that the monies were sent to him through a company called Extreme Bethel account.
He also told the court that he neither applied for any contract with NIMASA nor signed any document with the agency.
The bureau de change operator while being cross-examined by Dr Joseph Nwobike, SAN, and lawyers to other accused persons, said apart from the second accused, Agaba, he did know other accused persons.
But Dauda, the second bureau de change operator, informed the court that he did not know any of the accused persons. The matter has been adjourned till March 1.
In the 22-count charge, the accused were alleged to have converted to their use, a total of N2.6 billion between December 23, 2013 and May 28, 2015.
The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (1), 15 (3), and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2012.
It would be recalled that Akpobolokemi, along with six others, are facing a 22-count charge bordering on allegations of conversion and theft to the tune of N2.6 billion.
Charged alongside Akpobolokemi are: Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, and three companies, namely Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.

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