Wakili Dauda, a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, and six others, has told a Lagos State High Court how the agency paid him the sum of N96, 764, 689.00million for doing nothing.
Testifying before Justice R.1.B Adebiyi on Monday, May 9th, Dauda, owner of Kofa Father Nigeria Limited, a Bureau De Change, stated that the sum of N96. 7 million was paid into his account on October 30th 2014, in two tranches of N35, 688,000.00 and N61, 076,680.00 by the agency’s Committee tasked with the Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) project Committee of NIMASA. Speaking through an interpreter, Ibrahim AbdulHakeem, a registrar with a Magistrate Court, Wakili further told the court that he was shocked when he received the money.
According to him, “I don’t have any customer with NIMASA and I don’t have any transaction with NIMASA either. I have never received any contract award from the Committee of VIMSAS in NIMASA. One Mohammed Danliti collected my account number, saying that his customer wanted to deposit money in it. I bought Dollars with this money and gave it to Mohammed Danliti. He mentioned the name of the customer as Captain Bala. I don’t know anything about NIMASA. My company has two directors: Wakili Dahiru Dauda and me.’’
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, six prosecuting witness, PW 6, Yahaya Muhammad Yusuf, aka Danliti, explained his involvement in the diversion of N754,740,680 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Four Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Naira), describing both Wakili Dauda and Tashiru Garuba as the owners of Kofa Fada Nigeria Limited. Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Muhammed, a Bureau de Change operator, said: ‘‘I know Captain Bala Agaba as a customer who came to buy and sell money to me in dollars. Wakili Dauda gave me money in dollars, which I gave to Captain Bala Agaba. He paid the money into Kofa Fada’s account. I forwarded the account number to Captain Bala because he is a good customer to me”he said. According to him, Kofa Fada did not know or have any contract with NIMASA. While being cross-examined by the defence, Muhammad, who also confirmed that he gave money to Captain Bala in Dollars, added: ‘‘Captain Bala knows that I do not have a license to operate (as Bureau de Operator), but we have been doing business together for the past 10 years. I work for myself. I gave Kofa Fada’s account number to Captain Bala.’’
Akpobolokemi and six others are alleged to have diverted the sum of N754, 740,680 meant for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) at NIMASA. The others are: Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.