A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, heard that a former Director General of the Nigeria Maritime and Administration Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and his management team spent the agency’s N18 million meant for intelligence gathering, on massage chairs for themselves.
A prosecution witness, Mrs. Margaret Ekong, told Justice Ayokunle Faji that she supplied the chairs to Akpobolokemi and that he took delivery of the three chairs allotted to him.
She claimed that he took one to his house on Banana Island, Lagos; one to his mother’s house, and the last one to his house in Delta State.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, witness said the second defendant in the case, Captain Bala Agaba, took two chairs, while some other persons took possession of theirs.
She added that funds voted for intelligence gathering were used to pay for them.
Agaba, who was at the NIMASA Directorate of intelligence gathering at the time, is serving a seven-year jail term on another charge bordering on breach of trust.
Led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, Mrs. Ekong retreated that she submitted two companies’ names for the contract, as requested by the then NIMASA management.
The chairs, she said, were supplied in 2013, and payment was made in 2014, following a series of reminders.
When Oyedepo asked the witness where she got payment for the chairs from, she said it was from NIMASA.
The ninth prosecution witness, Ekene Nwakuche, claimed that all transactions, be it cash transfers or withdrawals, were his responsibility.
Nwakuche said he joined NIMASA in 2013 and was seconded as a Personal Assistant, PA, to Agaba.
He also told the court that the branch of a new generation bank on the ground floor of the NIMASA building in Apapa was used for transactions.
Justice Faji adjourned till November 29, 30, and December 1, for continuation of the trial.
Source: The Nation