Arraigns ex-NIMASA boss Akpobolokemi, others
I didn’t receive any money from Dasuki – Bafarawa
Ex-NSA denies implicating anyone
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday secured a holding warrant from a magistrate court in Abuja to keep the Chairman of Daar Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, despite meeting his bail conditions, including surrendering his travel documents to the EFCC and producing two directors in the federal civil service as sureties.
Also, yesterday, the anti-graft agency arraigned former Managing Director of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi and seven others over alleged N3.7billion scam, just as former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarwa denied having any link with former NSA, Sambo Dasuki in the alleged arms deal.
Dokpesi’s lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, said they were shocked to be told that the agency had secured a holding warrant from a magistrate court to keep his client in detention after perfecting his bail conditions.
“We got the two sureties today and we were ready to meet all the bail conditions before the EFCC told us they were able to get a holding charge warrant from a magistrate.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said a magistrate judge has no powers to issue a holding charge warrant.
He also said neither Dokpesi nor himself had been made aware of any charges yet. “We are yet to know the charges levelled against Chief Dokpesi and he himself has told me that no charges were preferred against him,” Ozekhome said.
Mr. Dokpesi’s arrest is in connection with the outcome of a presidential investigations committee on arms procurement during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. But Dokpesi is reported to have told his interrogators that he got the payment of about N2.1billion for media work but did not elaborate.
EFCC arraigns former NIMASA MD, Akpolobokemi, 7 others
Anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, arraigned the immediate past Managing Director of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, DR. Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi before a Lagos Federal High Court on 30 count charge of conversion of the sum of N3.700,629 billion.
Charged alongside the former NIMASA boss before Justice Saliu Saidu led court are; Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba; Ekene Nwakuche; Felix Bob-Nabena; Captain Warredi Enisouh; Governor Amechee Juan; Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari.
Also charged with the accused persons are two limited liability companies: Al-kenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.
The EFCC in a charge number FHC/L/496c/15, alleged that Akpobolokemi and other accused persons had on or before December 20, 2013 conspired among themselves to convert the said sum, which was derived from NIMASA.
Count one if the charges reads; “that you Patrick Ziadeke Akpolobokemi; Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba; Ekene Nwakuche; Felix Bob-Nabena; Captain Warredi Enisouh; Governor Amechee Juan; Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari, Al-kenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited, on or about 20th day of December, 2013, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit; conversion of the sum of N1,151,214.00, (One billion, one hundred and fifty one million, two hundred and forty thousand naira), property of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, which was derived from stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition (Amendment) Act. 2012, and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.”
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the counts charge.
Upon the plea of the accused persons, EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to remand the accused persons in prisons custody pending the determination of the charges.
However, Dr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, counsel to Akpolobokemi and the fourth accused person, Felix Bob-Nabena, urged the court to grant bail to his clients in self-recognition.
Nwobike said the accused persons’ bail applications were pursuant to Sections 32 (1)(2), 158 and 165 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015; and Section 35 of Nigeria constitution, 1999.
Also, the second, third, fifth sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th accused persons through their various lawyers, aligned themselves with the submission of Dr. Nwobike on their bail applications.
But in opposition to the bail applications, EFCC lawyer, Oyedepo urged the court to reject the applications.
Ruling on the bail applications, Justice Saidu admitted bail to Akpolobokemi in the sum of N100 million with two sureties in the same sum while the other accused persons were admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties each.
Justice Saidu also ordered the accused persons to deposit their international traveling passports with the court’s Deputy Registrar.
He however ordered that all the accused persons be remanded in prisons custody pending the perfection of the bail conditions. Trial has been adjourned till January 29, 2016.
Arms deal: Bafarawa denies receiving money from Dasuki
Meanwhile, a former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa yesterday denied receiving any money from the embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), even as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, intensify investigation into the $2.1billion arms deal involving the former NSA.
A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by his aide, Alhaji Akibu Dalhatu, maintained that Bafarawa has neither deal with the former NSA nor collected any money from him for any purpose.
“The former governor has in several occasions maintained that he did not receive any money from Col. Sambo Dasuki for any arms deal or for any purpose,” Alhaji Akibu said in the statement.
He however described what he called ‘deliberate media campaign’ against Alhaji Bafarawa as orchestrated effort aimed at tarnishing the image of the former governor, alleging that the media is being used to play out a script that has been written long before now.
“We have seen deliberate falsehoods published in the newspapers and social media platforms apparently orchestrated to tarnish the image and person of Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa. Some of the writers and media outfits have access to former governor and his media advisers for purposes of clarification but it appears that the media is being used to play out a script that has been written long before now,” he said.
Bafarawa’s aide who in the statement said he had visited the former governor at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, further denied media reports that his boss was arrested by the anti graft operatives at home, but explained that the former governor honoured the invitation extended to him by EFCC operatives.
“The truth is that the former governor, Bafarawa went to the EFCC to honour an invitation extended to him by the agency while he was abroad. He had earlier informed the anti graft agency through a letter by his lawyers that he was abroad and would honour their invitation on return and that was what he did, by visiting the office of EFCC with his lawyer and an aide,” he explained.
Dasuki denies implicating anyone in probes
Embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), yesterday denied ever making statement implicating anyone or group in the allegation of $2billion arms purchase deal brought against him by the federal government.
Dasuki, who spoke through his lawyer, Ahmed Raji, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said he never made such statement or named anyone to EFCC and wondered where the authors got their information from.
“I was with Dasuki yesterday and wish to make categorical statement that my client never made any statement of such nature or naming anybody or group in any statement.
“Quote me anywhere, Dasuki has not done anything like that. It is absolutely untrue. It is the figment of the imagination of the authors aimed at creating falsehood for reasons best known to them and Nigerians should disregard them.
“They are just out to scandalise the man, bring his image and character into disrepute so that his friends and well wishers can run away from him. They want him deserted and that will fail”, Raji said.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that not all funds in Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) are related to arms procurement as being alleged.
The ONSA manages several funds for national security and other special interventions which are not related to Boko Haram or arms procurement.
These include recurrent expenditures and miscellaneous expenses under Special Service Office (SSO) to fund special projects and programmes, including capacity building, refreshment, travelling, office maintenance, crisis communication and supports to special causes and Non-Governmental Organisations.
“Most of the figures being bandied were taken from the special funds meant for the purposes that they were spent and not on the so-called arm-deal.”
“All over the world, there are lots of expenditures of national security and sensitive matters that are not ridiculed in the press.”
During yesterday’s proceedings in court, the federal government appointed a private legal practitioner, Mr. Oladipupo Okpeseyitan, SAN, to prosecute Dasuki.
Okpeseyitan, after announcing his appearance told the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola that he had filed a motion for stay of execution of the ruling of the court which granted Dasuki permission to seek medical treatment.
He applied to the court to put the ruling on hold pending the outcome of the appeal in the matter.
Raji in his reply told the court that he had just been served with the motion in court, adding that he needed time to respond to the motion.
The case has been fixed for December 8, 2015 for hearing.