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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

BUSTED: Fashion Designer Admits To Getting N546m From NIMASA

A prosecution witness has told a stunned federal high court about how his account was credited with N546.8million by an official of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Chukwuemeka Benjamin Onuoha, a fashion designer, made the shocking revelation during the theft trial of former NIMASA boss Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Onuoha, while being led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo, said his company, Extreme Vertevex Limited, was used to siphon over N546,802,000 million from the coffers of NIMASA for a contract that was neither awarded to or executed by him.
Akpobolokemi was arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba along with Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan – and three companies, namely Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.

In a twenty-two count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), they were accused of illegally converting a total of N2,658,957,666 between December 23, 2013 and May 28 this year.
The accused all pled not guilty to all the counts.
Patrick Akpobolokemi
Onuoha told the court that N546,802,000 million was paid into his account with Zenith bank even though he did not tender any
before NIMASA, or even carried out a contract.
He told the court that the disbursement of the money was facilitated by Ekene Nwakuche who was his secondary school mate.
He described how he received the money in 2013 when Nwakuche was employed by NIMASA, who approached him and asked him if there was any contract he could implement.
Shortly after he made the request, Nwakuche called to ask if he had a registered company that could be used for transactions, as well as the company’s accounts.

Onuoha said that not long after he supplied details of his bank account to Nwakuche that, he received several alerts from his bank totaling N546,802,000 million.
On August 2014 he received N21, 802, 000, on November 6, 2014 he received N318 million, and on November 25, 2014 he received N207 million.
Onuoha told the court that he was later instructed to transfer the money to different accounts by Nwakuche.
Under cross-examination, Onuoha told the court that he had never met Akpobolokemi or received any instruction from him.