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Agaba, ex-NIMASA director, bags 7-year jail term for N1.5bn fraud

Agaba, ex-NIMASA director, bags 7-year jail term for N1.5bn fraud
July 15
14:57 2020
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Ezekiel Bala Agaba, a former executive director of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)), has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for N1.5 billion money laundering.

Agaba, who was in charge of maritime, safety and shipping, was said to have looted the money from the agency.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned him in 2015 alongside Patrick Akpolobokem, former director general of NIMASA,  and two others on a 22-count charge for allegedly diverting N2.6 billion from NIMASA’s coffers between December 2013 and May 2015.

According to the EFCC, two firms were used to siphon the funds approved by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for the implementation of international ship and port security code at NIMASA.

The commission said the ISPS Code is to enable NIMASA to carry out security checks on vessels entering into the country.

Akpobolokemi has since been discharged by the court of appeal while the EFCC withdrew charges against two other defendants, leaving only Agaba.

Delivering the judgment on Thursday, Ibrahim Buba, the judge, held that the EFCC proved the charges against Agaba beyond reasonable doubts.

In June 2019, Calistus Obi, former acting director general of NIMASA was also sentenced to seven years imprisonment on allegations of N136 million fraud.

He was, however, given the option of paying a N42 million fine.

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