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N2.6bn ‘fraud’: Appeal court acquits Akpobolokemi, ex-NIMASA DG

Patrick Akpobolokemi, ex-director general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has been acquitted of a N2.6 billion fraud charge by the Lagos division of the appeal court.

Yargatta Nimpar, judge of the appeal court, upheld the no-case submission filed by Akpolokemi, after it was dismissed by a high court in October 2017.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in October 2015 arraigned Akpobolokemi and five others on a 22-count charge for allegedly diverting N2.6 billion from NIMASA’s coffers between December 2013 and May 2015.

The commission had said the funds were approved by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for the implementation of a security project and the disbursement sanctioned by him.

Akpobolokemi was the head of NIMASA at the time.

Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, and two companies – Blockz and Stonz Ltd. and Al-Kenzo Logistic Ltd are the four other defendants.

Following an appeal by the defendants, the court of appeal discharged and acquitted Akpobolokemi of the entire 22-count charge.

The five other defendants were, however, not discharged by the appeal court which upheld the high court’s ruling that they had a case to answer.‎