Monday, 7 December 2015

Akpobolokemi: Court to begin ex-NIMASA boss’ trial Dec 14

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday fixed December 14 for trial of former NIMASA boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others, charged with N2.6bn theft.

Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Amaechi Juan and two companies; Blockz and Stonez Ltd., and Al-Kenzo Logistic Ltd., on 22 counts bordering on conversion and theft.
TheNews Agency of Nigeriareports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission dragged the accused persons to court.
The accused were first arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu on December 3, on 30 count bordering on conversion and stealing.
They were, subsequently, arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba on December 4 on fresh 22 counts, also bordering on conversion and theft.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were each granted bail in the sum of N50m with two sureties in like sum.
The court had also ordered the accused to sign an undertaking not to unnecessarily delay the trial.
Buba then adjourned the case to December 14 for trial.
When the case came up on Monday; the counsel for the first accused, Mr Joseph Nwobike (SAN), prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable him regularise and prepare for trial.
Following his application, Justice Buba adjourned the case to December 14 for commencement of trial.
In the charge jointly signed by Mr Festus Keyamo and Mr Rotimi Iseoluwa, the accused were said to have committed the alleged offences between December 2013 and March 2014.
The prosecution alleged that in February 2014 in Lagos, the accused persons conspired to convert about N437m belonging to NIMASA.
They were also accused of converting about N66m to their private use on January 9, 2014, and between April and August, 2014, they converted N21m and N53m, respectively, to their use.
The offences, the prosecution said, contravened Sections, 15 (1), 15 (3) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012.
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