Patrick Akpobolokemi, former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, who was charged with an alleged fraud of N2.6bn has been discharged and acquited by the Court of Appeal, Lagos division.
The Appeal Court overturned the decision of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos, who, on October 16, 2017, dismissed Akpobolokemi’s no-case submission.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had on December 4th 2015, arraigned Akpobolokemi alongside five others namely Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistics Limited, for allegedly diverting N2.6bn from the coffers of NIMASA between December 2013 and May 2015.
The six (6) defendants had all pleaded not guilty to the 22 charges pressed against them, following which the EFCC opened its case, calling 12 witnesses and tendering 77 exhibits in a bid to prove the allegation.
Following an appeal by the defendants, the appeal court discharged and acquitted Akpobolokemi of the entire 22-count charge The five other defendants were, however, not discharged by the appeal court which upheld the high court’s ruling that they had a case to answer.