Court Clears Ex-NIMASA DG Akpobolokemi of N8.5bn Fraud Charges


A Lagos Federal High Court delivered a verdict yesterday, absolving Patrick Akpobolokemi, former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), of alleged involvement in an N8.537 billion fraud case.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had prosecuted Akpobolokemi on multiple counts of fraud.

Presiding judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji, acquitted Akpobolokemi and co-defendant Josphine Otuaga in response to a no-case submission filed by them. Justice Faji concluded that the EFCC failed to provide sufficient evidence against the defendants.

However, the judge ruled that former Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield Commander, Major-General Emmanuel Atewe (retd), and NIMASA staff Kime Engonzu must present their defense against counts 12 to 22 of the charges.

In his defense, Akpobolokemi’s legal team, led by Dr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, argued that the prosecution had failed to establish a connection between Akpobolokemi and the alleged crimes, despite presenting multiple witnesses and evidence.

Akpobolokemi and his co-defendants were initially arraigned on a 22-count amended charge, including conspiracy, conversion, and fraudulent stealing.

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