EX NIMASA DG rented Banana Island home for N40m- Witness

Ebun Francis

THE Federal High Court sitting in Lagos was Wednesday informed that a former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi allegedly rented his Banana Island home for two years with N40 million. Mr Orji Chukwuma, the witness for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) disclosed the information while testifying in Akpobolokemi’s ongoing trial for alleged corruption and abuse of public office.

Mr Chukwuma,  the prosecution’s 11th witness, told the court that Akpobolokemi allegedly lived far above his means.

He said the defendant, a former lecturer at Niger-Delta University, where he earned a little above N100, 000 before he joined NIMASA, had over N154 million in his NIMASA salary account.

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According to the witness, Akpobolokemi paid the N40 million in three tranches of N12 million, N14 million and N14 million for 2013 and 2014 rent. He also said the former NIMASA boss paid N38.5 million to Vision Motors for a Toyota Landcruiser Bullet Proof Jeep. The money he said was paid in five tranches between November 11, 2011 and June 19, 2013, in addition to a cash payment of N10 million which he said was above the threshold.

The Ex NIMASA DG is standing trial along with a former Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development at NIMASA, Captain Ezekiel Agaba, his aides – Ekene Nwakuche – and Governor Juan as well as Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.

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The EFCC accused them of converting N2,658,957,666 between December 23, 2013 and May 28, last year. They pleaded not guilty.

The case was adjourned until November 26 and 29 for continuation of the trial.