N136m NIMASA fraud: Parties to adopt final addresses March 7


A Federal High Court Lagos has adjourned until March 7, for adoption of final addresses in the trial of former acting Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Calistus Obi, charged with N136 million fraud.

On the next adjourned date, parties will adopt their addresses, while the court is expected to deliver judgment afterwards.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had preferred an eight-count charge against Obi, who was a former Executive Director, and later D-G of the Agency

He was charged alongside one Alu Dismas, who was aide to a former D-G of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

The accused had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails in the sum of five million Naira each, with sureties in like sums.

The case could not be heard as earlier scheduled on the resumed date, and a new hearing date was consequently issued to parties.

The EFCC had closed the case for the prosecution on Jan. 31, 2017.

But the defendant had opted to file a no-case submission in its defence condensing that the prosecution failed to establish a case against him.

In a ruling delivered on Feb. 21, 2017, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had however, dismissed the no-case submission, on the ground that the defendant had a case to answer.

She had then ordered the defence to open its case.

The defence closed its case in October 2018 and the court had then adjourned for adoption of final addresses.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences on Aug. 5, 2014.

According to the EFCC, they allegedly conspired to convert the sums of money from the coffers of NIMASA, with knowledge that same were proceeds of stealing.

The offences contravenes the provisions of Sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibitions (Amendment) Act, 2012.