N136m fraud: EFCC closes case against ex-NIMASA boss, Obi


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday closed its case in the trial of a former acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Calistus Obi, charged with an alleged N136m fraud.

Obi is standing trial before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Lagos.

He is being prosecuted alongside Alu Dismas, who is a former personal assistant to an ex-DG of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired between themselves on August 5, 2015, to convert N136m, belonging to NIMASA, to their own.

The offence is said to be contrary to sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, the EFCC, through its prosecutor, Mr. Nkereuwem Anana, closed its case after the cross-examination of its eighth witness, Mr. Chukwuma Orji, by the defence counsel.

While being cross-examined by the first defence counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni (SAN), Orji, an EFCC investigator, told the court that he traced part of the allegedly stolen funds to the defendants.

Referring the witness to counts one to four of the charge, Akoni asked if any part of the N111m mentioned therein, was traced to the account of Obi.

Orji answered, “I traced the monies to the two accused in the dock.”

The witness claimed that it was a Bureau De Change operator who handed the money to Dismas, who, in turn, handed the money to Obi.

Asked whether the EFCC had any documentary evidence to back the claim, Orji replied, “My Lord, Exhibit T8 clearly shows how the said amount of money left NIMASA under the instruction of the accused.”

He told Justice Olatoregun that Obi had admitted that he gave  an oral instruction to that effect in his statement to the EFCC.

When asked by Akoni whether he knew any member of NIMASA’s Committee on Intelligence, Orji said he knew the chairman of the committee, Captain Bala Agaba, who, he said, had also been facing criminal charges before other courts.

When asked by the second defence counsel, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), whether Obi showed any evidence that he acted on the instruction of Akpobolokemi, Orji said the EFCC had video evidence to that effect.

He, however, told the court that Dismas was not a signatory to the account of NIMASA’s Committee on Intelligence.



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