Ex-NIMASA boss re-arrested outside court

15 December 2015, Lagos – Security operatives, on Monday, re-arrested a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, outside the premises of the Federal High Court on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Patrick Akpobolokemi

Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi

Akpobolokemi was picked up by mobile policemen and plain clothes operatives, who bundled him up and forced him into an awaiting bus just as he stepped out of the court premises.

His re-arrest came shortly after his trial over alleged N2.6bn fraud before Justice Ibrahim Buba was adjourned till January 18, 2016.

Aside his ongoing criminal trial before Justice Buba, there is another N3.4bn fraud charges pending against him and nine others before Justice Saliu Saidu of the same court, which has been adjourned till January 29, 2016.

Akpobolokemi, who was dressed in white on Monday, had just been released from the prison custody on Friday after he perfected a bail of N50m granted him by Justice Buba.

He had resisted the move to re-arrest him, claiming that he was on bail, but he was pushed, overpowered and bundled into a waiting bus by security operatives, while his lawyer, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), looked on helplessly.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court, Lagos, today fixed January 18, 2016 for the trial of former boss of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others, charged with N2.6 billion theft.

Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Amaechi Juan and two companies, Blockz and Stonez Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited, on 22 counts.

The accused were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

They were first arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu of the same court, on December 3, on 30 counts bordering on conversion and stealing.

They were again arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba on December 4 on a fresh 22 counts, also bordering on conversion and theft.

They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge and justice Buba had granted them bail in the sum of N50 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.

The court had also ordered the accused to sign an undertaking not to unnecessarily delay speedy trial.

Buba had then adjourned the case for trial.

When the case was called on Monday, counsel to the third, fifth, and sixth accused, Mr Seni Adio, informed the court that he required some time to prepare for trial, having been briefed.

He, therefore, prayed the court for time to peruse the documents and prepare for trial.

The prayer for adjournment was also adopted by counsel to the other accused.

Consequently, Buba adjourned the case till January 18 for trial.

  • Punch
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