One day after he was dramatically re-arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in front of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, after gaining bail, the commission on Tuesday slammed two separate charges in two different courts on the former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Patrick Apkobolokemi, and several others.
In one of the charges, filed at the same Federal High Court, Akpobolokemi faces 40 counts of fraud and money laundering for the sum of N34.5billion.
In the second, which was filed at the Lagos State High Court, he is accused of stealing another N600million. Both charges were yet to be assigned as of the time of this report, but the embattled former NIMASA chief was again battling to secure bail, pending his arraignment.
Sources at the EFCC disclosed that the commission re-arrested Mr. Akpobolokemi following fresh evidence of fraud.
The former DG was arrested on December 14 following the adjournment of his trial by Justice Ibrahim Buba at the Federal High Court in Lagos where, along with five others, he is facing criminal charges to the tune of N2.3billion filed against them by the EFCC. Mr. Akpobolokemi’s arrest is on the strength of fresh evidence that he allegedly converted the sum of over N11.7billion, and another N816,000,000 (totaling nearly N13billion), meant for the development of the temporary site of the proposed Nigeria Maritime University, Kurutie, in the Warri South Local Government area of Delta State, into his personal use. The suspect was said to have obtained a presidential approval of N13billion through the office of the then National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Rtd. Colonel Sambo Dasuki, for the acquisition and development of a temporary site for the proposed institution.
Out of the total approved amount, a sum of N11.7billion was allegedly paid into a company suspected to be owned by Chief Government Oweize Ekpemopolo, a.k.a Tompolo.
After the said money was paid, investigation further showed that N6billion was further moved into another account belonging to an associate of the indicted DG. Furthermore, the sum of N816million allegedly obtained through a presidential approval for the implementation of the Voluntary International Maritime Organization Members State Audit (VIMSAS) in Nigeria, was also allegedly diverted to his personal use.