EFCC Arrests Akpobolokemi, Ex-NIMASA DG | Independent Newspapers Limited
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EFCC Arrests Akpobolokemi, Ex-NIMASA DG

Posted: Jul 31, 2015 at 1:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Two weeks after he was fired as director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on July 16, Patrick Akpobolokemi was reportedly arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, and may just be on the road to jail.

Akpobolokemi was detained at the Lagos office of the EFCC.

There have been several allegations of financial impropriety against NIMASA under Akpobolokemi, including those which suggested that the agency funded the lavish lifestyles of some Niger Delta militants and bankrolled most of the hate campaigns against President Muhammadu Buhari in the run-up to the 2015 elections.

In 2012, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission accused the maritime agency of failing to render its audited accounts from 2007 to 2011.

Some concerned staff of NIMASA also petitioned the Transport Ministry, protesting the personal management style of Akpobolokemi, alleging that from 2010, appointments, promotions and discipline took a new dimension that was not only dangerous but a path of total destruction of the system. An example, it was noted, was the alleged hiring of a 2005 graduate without experience as deputy director, amongst others.

A NIMASA insider told online newspaper, PREMIUM TIMES that the former DG “was taken in this morning (Thursday) around 10 a.m.

“Some of our other officials have also been summoned while EFCC operatives have been conducting discreet investigation here. There is tension everywhere.

“One of our people just returned from EFCC and he told me the former DG is still there, sweating profusely as he was being questioned by investigators.”

According to the newspaer, while at NIMASA headquarters, EFCC operatives asked questions about some curious multibillion naira transactions approved by Mr. Akpobolokemi, especially during the dying days of the last administration.

“For instance, they wanted to know how a whopping N13 billion was spent on the acquisition of land for the permanent site of the Nigerian Maritime University in Delta,” our source said.

“They also asked about other transactions they believed were fraudulent, including transfers of millions of dollars from NIMASA accounts to other accounts.”

An official in the prosecution unit of the EFCC in Lagos confirmed the development, saying: “I’m aware he is with us, but I don’t have details about the case against him or what investigators are asking him.”

Attempts by Daily Independent to reach Wilson Uwajaren, EFCC spokesman for comments up till 10.15pm on Thursday, was unsuccessful as his mobile phone number was switched off.