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NIMASA: Atewe’s N8.5bn fraud trial holds tomorrow

The trial of a former commander of the Niger Delta Military Joint Task Force, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, and three others, charged with N8.5 billion fraud has been adjourned to October 20.

Atewe, a former Commander of Operation Pulo Shield, is charged alongside Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Also charged are two staff of NIMASA, Kime Engonzu and Josephine Otuaga.

The accused are standing trial on an amended 22-count charge bordering on fraud.

Yesterday, the trial of the accused persons was further adjourned to October 20, following the absence of the trial judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji, who is said to be attending a workshop.

The accused were re-arraigned before Justice Faji on February 3, following the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice Saliu Saidu to Port Harcourt.

They had pleaded not guilty and were allowed to continue on the earlier bail terms granted by the previous judge.

In the charge EFCC alleged that the accused conspired to defraud NIMASA of N8.5 billion using seven companies.

The companies are: Jagan Ltd, Jagan Trading Company Ltd; Jagan Global Services Ltd; Al-Nald Ltd; Paper Warehouse Ltd;  Eastpoint Integrated Services Ltd and De-Newlink Integrated Services Ltd.

The EFCC claimed that the accused committed the alleged fraud between September 5, 2014, and May 20, 2015.

About Jerry Uwah, Lagos

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