A witness in the ongoing trial of former NIMASA DG, Patrick Akpobolokemi and six others in a N2.3 billion fraud, yesterday told the court of how he received N905, 800, 000 from NIMASA for a contract he did not execute.
The witness according to Tribune, Uche Obilor who is the Managing Director of three companies, Ace Prosthesis Limited, Seabulk Offshore Limited and Southern Offshore Limited told the court that the money was paid into his companies’ two bank accounts even though he did not tender any proposal or carry out any contract for NIMASA.
The former NIMASA boss and six others namely Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan and three companies, namely Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited are standing trial before Justice Ibrahim Buba for N2.6 billion fraud. Obilor revealed that the sum of N437million was paid to Ace Prosthesis Limited, while N402 million was paid to Seabulk Offshore Limited and N66.8 million was paid to Southern Offshore Limited respectively.
He told that court that he was approached by Captain Ezekiel Agaba (2nd defendants) that his companies has been awarded a contract to assist NIMASA meet the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code for 2014.
He said his company did not apply for the contracts but they were given the contract and the money were immediately paid. Obilor told the court that shortly after the money was paid, he was told by the second defendant to stay execution on the contract.
According to him, the second defendant later directed him to transfer the money into different accounts until N54 million was left in the accounts. Under cross examination by Akpobolokemi's lawyer, Joseph Nwobike (SAN) Obilor told the court that he held several meetings with the second defendants adding that the remaining N54 million left in the account had been transferred to the Federal Government coffers.
He also admitted that he did not have any discussions with the Akpobolokemi neither did he receive any instruction from him. When asked by lawyer to the 2nd defendant E G Onyeka whether he (Obilor) was aware that two of his staff issued and signed several invoices to NIMASA he said, ‘’I am on top of the whole exercise and I am unaware that they signed any document’’.
Obilor also admitted that during the meetings he had with the second defendant, a list of job schedule was brought to his attention some of which his company lacked capacity to carry out. The case has been adjourned till February 5th, 16th and 19th.