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NIMASA: EFCC discharges first witness in Akpobolokemi’s N8.5bn fraud case



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday discharged its first witness, Teslim Ajuwon, in the trial of a Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

Akpobolokemi is being prosecuted for an alleged fraud of N8.5bn perpetrated within NIMASA between September 5, 2014 and May 20, 2015.

Standing trial along with him is a former Commander of the Military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in the Niger Delta, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewe.

Others are Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga.

The accused were said to have allegedly conspired to siphon N8.5bn out of NIMASA using six companies.

Ajuwon, who began his testimony against the accused on Tuesday before a Federal High Court in Lagos, was discharged on Wednesday after concluding his testimony.

The witness, a banker, had in his testimony on Tuesday narrated to Justice Saliu Saidu, how the accused conspired among themselves to diverted N1.8bn out of NIMASA within two weeks in the month of September 2014.

Armed with the statement of account of the Military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, Ajuwon had told the court how a total of N8.5bn was moved in five tranches from NIMASA into the account between September 3, 2014 and May 12, 2015.

He went on to chronicle how N1.8bn out of the money was siphoned were transferring same in several tranches to Jagan Limited and other companies.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, Ajuwon told the judge that Atewe and one Lt. I.M. Ogadoga were the sole signatories to the Operation Pulo Shield account.

He went on to tell the court that N100m was moved out of the account in two tranches of N50m in favour of Jagan Limited on September 9, 2014.

He added that on September 16, 2014, there was another outflow of N50.5m from the Operation Pulo Shield account in favour of Jagan Limited.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, sought the order of the court to discharge Ajuwon upon the conclusion of his testimony on Wednesday..Punch