NIMASA paid me N138.5m for doing nothing – Witness
An Assistant Director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Engr. Fredrick Ugor, yesterday told Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Federal High Court in Lagos that about N138.5 million was paid into his company’s account in 2014 by the agency without executing any contract. He made the disclosure while testifying in the ongoing trial of a former Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others over alleged N3.4 billion fraud. In his testimony, the witness disclosed that the funds were lodged into his company’s account by NIMASA’s Committee on Intelligence (COI) at various times in 2014. According to him, he used the company, Peniel Engineering Ltd, as a platform for his business while he was working as the Special Assistant to the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly prior to the time he joined NIMASA in 2013. “I know Peniel Engineering Ltd. It is owned by my friend, Engineer Jolly James, while I was in Port-Harcourt.

It was the platform I was using for my business. The company is into maritime logistics, construction of roads and schools, etc. It was not into intelligence gathering activities”, the witness said. He confirmed payments of N20 million, N35 million, N13 million, N35 million, N6 million, N22 million and N7.5 million into Peniel Ltd’s Account at different times in 2014 by NIMASA’s Committee on Intelligence.

He told the court that the Committee was set up by NIMASA’s management to gather intelligence aimed at stopping nefarious activities in the country and that he was not one of its members. Speaking further, the witness said: “I did not know COI is in existence. I also know in the course of interrogation that the company’s account details was made available to the Committee by my Director, Captain Warredi Enisouh (5th defendant). I gave it to him. “Peniel Engineering Ltd did not indulge in any intelligence gathering for NIMASA to warrant any payment into the company’s account”. At yesterday’s proceedings, some documents which emanated from NIMASA to support cash payments into the company’s account were admitted by the court as exhibits.