A prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, informed a High court that he helped a former Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development at the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Ezekiel Agada, to buy a N70 million property in Lekki with funds allegedly stolen from NIMASA.
Agada- alongside Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director General of NIMASA, Ekene Nwakuche and Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Ltd, Kenzo Logistics Ltd and Al-Kenzo Logistic Ltd- are currently facing criminal trial for corruption perpetrated at NIMASA.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges of misappropriating N2.6 billion preferred against them.
The witness, Eboigbe Etiosa, an estate surveyor and valuer, stated that he was paid twice for the land.
“It cost N70 million. My Zenith Bank account domicilled with Eric Moore Branch, Surulere, was credited twice”, Etiosa said.
He revealed that he was first paid the sum of N40 million on the 5th of January 2014, through a company Ace Prothesis Nigeria Limited and was paid the remaining N30 million from Aker Integrated Services on January 20, 2014.
“After negotiation, I forwarded my account to Agaba and my account was credited. And it was this money that I used for the property.”
A branch manager of Zenith bank, Rita Ifeadi, also testified at the trial. She informed the court that payments were made to NIMASA workers even though they were not signatories to the account.
She further informed the court that bank accounts opened for NIMASA was operated by workers at the agency, who were not signatories to the account.
Ifeadi, however, said that: “There is an exception. In KYC (Know Your Customer), if you know the people coming to pick up the money, you can confirm it. For some of those accounts, I knew who was coming to pick up the money; so I counter-signed the counter-cheques. Once I counter-signed, the teller could go ahead and pay.”
The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, adjourned till March 23.