Alleged N47.7bn NIMASA Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Tompolo, 8 Others in Absentia

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, arraigned the former Niger/Delta warlord, Mr. Government Oweize Ekemupolo, popularly called Tompolo, was arraigned in absentia before a Lagos Federal High Court on a 22 count-charge bordering on fraud, conversation of money and forgery.

Also arraigned in absentia are siblings of the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Patrick Ziadeke Akpolobokemi, who was also arraigned before the court.

The Akpolobokemi’s siblings includes: Igo Akpolobokemi, Julius Akpolobokemi, Stephen Akpolobokemi, Victor Akpolobokemi, Norbert Akpolobokemi, Emmanuel Ebizimo Akpolobokemi, and Clement Akpolobokemi.

While those docked alongside the former NIMASA Director-General were: Kime Engozu, Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa.

Also docked with Akpolobokemi are seven limited liability companies which includes: Mieka Dive Training Institute LTD/GTE, Oyeinteke Global Network Limited, Wabod Global Resources Limited, Boloboere Properties Estate Limited, Gokaid Marine and Oil and Gas Limited, Muhaabix Global Service Limited and Watershed Associated Resources.

The EFCC in charge number FHC/L/C/31c/2016, alleged that the accused persons had sometime in 2014, within the jurisdiction of the court with an intend to defraud, conspired among themselves and obtained the total sum of of N47, 683, 464, 822 billion from the Federal government of Nigeria,

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The accused persons also alleged to have between May 6, 2014 and December 2, 2014, forged and uttered a Certificate of Customary Rights of Occupance of the old Bendel state of Nigeria, and purportedly issued same to NIMASA, claiming that it was issued by Warri South Local Government Council, Delta State, to the prejudice of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

They were also alleged to have received the synod N11,900,000,00 billion from the Federal government of Nigeria, by falsely pretended that all the land and its appurtenances lying and situated at Mieka Diva Training Institute, Kurutie, Warri South LGA, Delta State, be acquired by the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, NIMASA, for the temporary campus of Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Warri south, LGA, is from encumbrance.

The offences according to EFCC prosecutors, Mr. Festus Keyamo and Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to sections 8, 1(b) of Advance Fee Fraud, 18 (a), 15 (1) of money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2012, and punishable under section 1 (3), 15(3) of the same Act, and 1(2)(c) Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the federation 2004.

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All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The the plea of accused persons, their lawyers which includes Dr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, Mr. inaji E. U., and Mr. Oyesoji Oyeleke, urged the court to admit them to bail in liberal term.

Nwobike, SAN, and Inaji, particularly pleaded with the court to allow their clients, Akpolobokemi and Kime Engozu to continue with the bail terms granted them in other criminal charges they have before the court.

Ruling on the bail application, the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, while conceded to the request of Nwobike, SAN, and Mr. Inaji, however admitted bail to Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa in the sum of N50 million with one surety each.

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The surety according to Justice Buba, must must show evidence of landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, and sworn to affidavit of means, while the two accused persons be remanded at EFCC custody, pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

The matter has been adjourned till May 30 and 31 for trial. is your BREAKING NEWS platform.

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