Witness reveals NIMASA ex-boss paid N40m two-year rent in Banana Island
A Witness, Orji Chukwuma, yesterday told a Federal High Court, Lagos, how former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, paid N40 million for two years’ rent in Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Chukwuma, the 11th witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing trial of the former NIMASA boss, stated this while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo.
At the resumed trial of the accused, Chukwuma tendered three documents. They were receipt for the rent, Toyota Landcruiser bullet proof Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and Asset Declaration Form, which were admitted and marked as exhibits P63, P64 and P65.
He said Akpobolokemi paid N40 million, which were released in three tranches of N12 million, N14 million and N14 million for 2013 and 2014 rents.The witness also informed the court that the former DG also paid N38.5 million to Vision Motors for the SUV.
He said Akpolobokemi paid the money in five tranches of N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4. 6 million and N10 million between November 11, 2011 and June 19, 2013, adding that the N10 million cash paid by him was above his approved threshold.
He also told the court that from the Asset Declaration Form, the accused stated that he has a property worth N42 million and a SUV of N22.5 million. According to him, the accused, who was a former lecturer at Niger Delta University where he earned a little above N100,000, has in his bank account, opened for payment of all his emoluments at NIMASA, over N154 million, which he never touched.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till November 26 and 29 for continuation of trial.Akpobolokemi and others were first arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba on December 4, 2015 for allegedly defrauding NIMASA to the tune of N2.6 billion between March and June 2014.All the accused persons had pleaded not guilty to the offences, and were admitted to bail.