How Ex-NIMASA Boss Akpolobokemi Paid N40m Rent on Banana Island Property – Witness Tells Court
The court was informed by Mr. Orji Chukwuma, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), while being led in evidence by the commission’s prosecutor Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo. Mr. Chukwuma is the eleventh EFCC witness in the NIMASA Director-General’s ongoing trial.
Dr. Akpobolokemi, Messrs Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistics Limited were first arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba on 4 December, 2015 for allegedly defrauding NIMASA to the tune of N2.6 billion between March and June 2014.
At the resumed trial of the accused persons on Wednesday, Mr. Chukwuma, tendered three documents- rent receipt, purchase receipt for a bullet-proof Toyota Landcruiser SUV and asset declaration form-which were admitted and marked as exhibits P63 and 64, and 65 respectively. The EFCC operative further told the court that Dr. Akpolobokemi paid total sum of N40 million in three installments of N12 million; N14 million and N14 million for 2013 and 2014.
The equally told the court that the former Director-General paid N38.5 million in cash to Vision Motors, for the Toyota Landcruiser.
This, he explained, was paid in three installments of N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4 million, N4. 650, million, and N10 million between 11 November, 2011, and 19 June, 2013.
He also explained to the court that the N10 million cash paid by the former Director-General was above the payment threshold.
From the asset declaration form, the accused stated that he has a property worth N42 million, a Toyota Landcruiser SUV valued at N22.5 million. But the EFCC said its investigations showed that the accused received a cash sum in dollars, which were also proceeds of crime, that he used to buy the said property.
Mr. Chukwuma told the court that Dr. Akpobolokemi, a former lecturer at the Niger Delta University, Amasoma in Bayelsa State, earned a little above N100, 000 in his former job, but has a balance of N154million in the Access Bank account which he opened for the payment of all his emoluments at NIMASA.
He also disclosed that the accused former university teacher never made a withdrawal from the said account. The presiding judge, Justice Buba, adjourned until November 26 and 29 for the continuation of trial.
In the charge, EFCC alleged that Akpobolokemi and other accused persons converted to their personal use the sum of N2.6 billion belonging to NIMASA.
The prosecution alleged that on or about February 2014 in Lagos, the accused persons conspired among themselves to convert the sum of N437, 726, 666.60 belonging to NIMASA.
On 9 January, 10 April and August, 2014, they also allegedly converted to their own use the sum of N21, 802, 000, N53,749, 000.00, and N66,800.000 respectively.
The alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under Section 18 (a) and 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition/Amendment) Act of 2012.
All the accused persons who pleaded not guilty to the offences, are currently on bail.
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