N2.6bn fraud: Akpobolokemi, others have a case to answer: Court
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday dismissed a no-case submission suit filed by former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, and five others in the case of the alleged N2.6bn fraud filed against them by the Federal Government.
The case was a precursor to the main suit of fraud. The legal team of the ex-NIMASA boss and his co-accused, namely Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited, had approached the court to seek a no-case submission on the ground that the prosecutor had not established enough ground to warrant their prosecution.
But Justice Ibrahim Buba dismissed their case as lacking in merit as he held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had established enough prima facie case against Akpobolokemi and his co-defendants to warrant their trial. Based on this, they will have no other option than to enter their defence.
He adjourned till October 30 for the defendants to open their defence.
The EFCC had on December 4, 2015 arraigned Akpobolokemi alongside five others for allegedly diverting N2.6bn from NIMASA between December 2013, and May 2015.
The funds were said to have been approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan for the implementation of a security project, tagged, “International Ship and Ports Security Code in Nigeria Ports.”
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the 22 charges preferred against them. The defendants consequently filed no-case submissions, contending that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them to warrant them entering any defence.