An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Kanu Idagu in the ongoing trial of former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi and nine others yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos how the defendants set up some committees to launder billions of naira belonging to the agency.
Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside nine others on a 40-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
Others facing the same charge are: Captain Bala Agaba; Ekene Nwakuche; Felix Bob-Nabena; Captain Warredi Enisouh; Governor Juan; Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari.
Also charged are two companies; Al-kenzo Ltd and Penniel Engineering Services Ltd.
They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail by the court.
Idagu, an operative of EFCC, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, told the court that as head of the EFCC Special Task Force, he co-ordinates investigations, as well as carries out searches and arrest.
The witness also informed the court that the force received a petition in the last quarter of 2015, of some activities in NIMASA, during the period when Akpobolokemi was DG.
According to him, his team embarked on investigation and in the process, discovered that NIMASA had set up various committees some of which were used to launder monies through companies and bureau de change.
Idagu further testified that a committee on intelligence was set up and headed by the second accused, with an Access bank account number 0688939609 opened for the receipt of monies.
He said, “Between Dec. 20, 2013 and July 7, 2015, the committee received money in tranches running into 1.5 billion.
“The chairman of the committee raised several internal memos to the director of finance and accounts, wherein it was claimed that the funds were to be used for intelligence based security activities.
“The companies used in furtherance of these activities were either owned or nominated by NIMASA staffs for their personal use,” he said.
He told the court that one of such companies was Aler Integrated Services Ltd, whose alter ego was one Uche Obilor.
“Another company is Kofa Fada Ltd, a bureau de change company which the second accused instructed Obilor to transfer the sum of N10 million into.
“The sum of N2 million was also transferred into the account of one Al-Kenzo Logistics.