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NIMASA ex-director bags 7yrs jail term over N1.5bn fraud

By News Desk

After five years of legal proceedings, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced a former Executive Director of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Capt. Ezekiel Agaba, to seven years imprisonment for laundering the sum of N1.5 billion.

Before the judgment on Wednesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had said that Agaba conspired with former Director-General, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and obtained a huge sum under false pretense from the Federal Government.

It would be recalled that Agaba was arraigned in December 2015 alongside a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpolobokemi, and two others for using two firms to siphon about N2.6bn meant for the implementation of International Ship and Port Security code at NIMASA.

A former executive director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Ezekiel Agaba, was guilty of laundering N1.5 billion belonging to the agency, a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court ruled on Wednesday.

In his ruling on Wednesday, Justice Ibrahim Buba, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the convict stole the sum from NIMASA while he was in charge of Maritime, Safety, and Shipping.

He, however, sentenced Agaba to seven years in prison on each of the seven counts, totalling 49 years which are to run concurrently.

“The sentence runs with effect from today (Wednesday),” the judge said.

Meanwhile, the court declined to grant the application of EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, for the forfeiture of property allegedly bought by Mr Agaba from the proceeds of the crime.

 

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