An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Kanu Idagu, told a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday that a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and seven others defrauded the agency to the tune of N1.15bn within 19 months.
Idagu told Justice Saliu Saidu that Akpobolokemi and others moved the funds in several tranches out of NIMASA using Bureau De Change operators and fictitious companies.
The EFCC investigator appeared as a prosecution witness at the trial of Akpobolokemi and others for an alleged fraud of N3.4bn, which they allegedly perpetrated within NIMASA between December 2013 and July 2015.
The EFCC had on December 3, 2015 arraigned the accused on 30 counts of money laundering and related offences said to be contrary to Section 15(1) (3) and 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012.
Standing trial alongside Akpobolokemi are Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Felix Bob-Nabena, Warredi Enisuoh, Governor Juan, Ugo Frederick, Timi Alari, Al-Kenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.
Led in evidence on Monday by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo, Idagu told Justice Saidu that the alleged fraud committed by the accused was uncovered by the EFCC when it conducted investigation into a petition seeking the probe of NIMASA activities under Akpobolokemi as the DG.
He said the accused persons used their positions to set up several committees, including the Committee on Intelligence, which were allegedly used as platforms to siphon money out of the agency.
He narrated to the court how the 2nd accused person, Agaba, who headed the Committee on Intelligence, allegedly raised several internal memos to the NIMASA Director-General of Finance and Account, to divert N422,680,000, while claiming that the funds were for intelligence-based security activities.