By Richards Adeniyi
A Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Friday ruled that statements of two ex-employees of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) — Ezekiel Agaba and Ekene Nwakuche — to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were voluntary.
Agaba, a former Executive Director of NIMASA and Nwakuche, his Personal Assistant, had alleged that their statements to EFCC were made under duress and therefore inadmissible.
They alleged that an EFCC investigator, Orji Chukwuma, had coerced them into writing incriminating statements during interrogation at the Commission’s office.
Agaba and Nwakuche are arraigned alongside Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of NIMASA and four others on a 13-count charge of conspiracy to steal, fraud and stealing of N754 million belonging to NIMASA.
The others are Governor Juan, Vincent Udoye, Adegboyega Olopoenia and a company — Gama Marine Nigeria Limited.
They all denied the charges.
The EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had objected to the defence counsel, Mr E.D. Onyeke’s submission that the statements were in their original form and relevant to the facts of the case.