NIMASA Court adjourns trial of agency's ex-boss to March 22

Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside nine others on a 40-count charge.

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Patrick Akpolobolokemi play

Patrick Akpolobolokemi

(Daily Post)
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The trial of Patrick Akpolobolokemi, a former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), was on Thursday adjourned to March 22.

Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside nine others on a 40-count charge.

They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned the suit in order to rule on the admissibility of a document tendered by a witness, who is Compliance Officer with a bank.

Justice Saidu granted the prayer of the prosecution to withdraw a document which it had tendered on Wednesday as exhibit.

Counsel for the accused, Mr Joseph Nwobike (SAN), had at that proceedings objected to the withdrawal of the document and urged the court to mark the document as 'reject'.

READ: N12.9bn fraud - how Police bundled Akpobolokemi into awaiting bus outside court (Watch)

The Prosecution witness, Adekunle, who was led in evidence by Mr Festus Keyamo, informed the court that the anti-graft agency had requested for the account statement of Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd which his bank obliged.

Upon the identification of the documents and while counsel to the EFCC applied to the court to admit it, Nwobike objected to its admissibility.

Citing the provisions of sections 102 of the Evidence Act, Nwobike argued that the documents were uncertified photocopies and not original documents.

Counsel to the other accused also aligned themselves with the submission of Nwobike.

Justice Saidu adjourned the suit to March 22 for ruling.

Akpobolokemi is charged alongside Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Felix Bob-Nabena, Captain Warredi Enisouh, Governor Juan, Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari.

Al-kenzo Ltd and Penniel Engineering Services Ltd were also charged.

They were alleged to have converted the sum of N2.6 billion and another  N3.4 billion belonging to NIMASA for private use.

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