The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi. This is coming just two weeks after he was fired from his post. Recall that theeconomyng.com reported yesterday that EFCC operatives had stormed the Procurement Department of NIMASA collecting relevant documents while the former Director-General was invited to the office of the anti-graft agency.
Akpobolokemi was arrested in Lagos Thursday morning and was detained at the Lagos office of the EFCC in the Ikoyi. Sources at NIMASA disclosed that he was arrested at around 10 a.m. “Some of our other officials have also been summoned while EFCC operatives have been conducting discreet investigation here. There is tension everywhere. One of our staff just returned from EFCC and he told me the former DG is still there, sweating profusely as he was being questioned by investigators,” the source said.
While at NIMASA headquarters, EFCC operatives reportedly asked questions about some curious multi-billion naira transactions approved by Akpobolokemi, especially during the dying days of the last administration. “For instance, they wanted to know how a whopping N13 billion was spent on the acquisition of land for the permanent site of the Nigerian Maritime University in Delta. They also asked about other transactions they believed were fraudulent, including transfers of millions of dollars from NIMASA accounts to other accounts,” a source said.
There have been several allegations of financial impropriety against the former NIMASA Director-General who was booted out of office on July 16 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
By Pita Ochai