Witness Tells Court How General Atewe, Received N8bn From NIMASA Account
A prosecution witness, Adamu Yusuf, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, December 8, 2017, told Justice A.O. Faji of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how a former Commander of the Military Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Pulo Shield, Major-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe (rtd.) received billions of Naira from the coffers of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Atewe is facing trial alongside a former NIMASA boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi, Kime Engonzu and Josephine Otuaga, who are both staff of the agency, on an amended 22- count charge to the tune of over N8.5billion.
At the resumed hearing today, Yusuf, who is the second prosecution witness, PW2, told the court that the EFCC received intelligence report against the accused in 2015.
Yusuf further told the court that upon receipt of the intelligence, the EFCC immediately began investigation by writing a letter to the NIMASA
Office located at 4, Burma Road, Apapa, Lagos.
The witness, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, added that in the course of the investigation, some documents requesting for financial assistance towards fighting pipeline vandalization and sea piracy were recovered from the second defendant, Akpobolokemi.
“The Commission, thereafter, launched investigations to know where the various sums of money were paid into.
“After analysing the accounts from the recovered documents, it was discovered that the money was paid into the Zenith Bank account of the Joint Task Force.
“So, we wrote letters to Zenith Bank requesting for the account opening documents.”
A number of documents were tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibits N1 to N 60. Also, the Zenith Bank letter with the attachment to the EFCC were tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibits P1-P22.
The court also admitted in evidence, the EFCC letter to Fidelity Bank and the bank’s responses as exhibits R1-R48. The witness further told the court how the management of NIMASA, under the leadership of the second defendant, Akpobolokemi, had transferred billions of Naira to the Joint Task Force under the headship of Atewe.
Yusuf also stated that Akpobolokemi and one O. Mike transferred over N8, 000,000,000.00 (Eight Billion Naira) from NIMASA account between 2014 and 2015.
Justice Faji adjourned the case to December 11, 2017 for continuation of trial.
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