By Robert Egbe
A federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday adjourned till November 3, 4 and 5, further hearing in the alleged money laundering trial of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and four others.
Justice Ayokunle Faji fixed the date following the absence of one of the defence lawyers, Mr. E. D. Onyeneke.
Onyeneke is counsel to second defendant, Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, a former Executive Director with NIMASA, who is serving a seven-year jail term for money laundering.
Onyeneke applied for the adjournment through the court registrar, on the ground that documents vital to the case were destroyed when his law firm was set ablaze by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest.
The registrar also informed the judge that Onyinke also applied for a production warrant for Agaba.
No counsel represented the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is prosecuting the case.
None of the defendants was in court, but Akpobolokemi’s counsel, Mr. Matthew Bukah, was present.
Justice Faji upheld the prayer and ordered that a production warrant be issued for Agaba.
Apart from first and second defendants – Akpobolokemi and Agaba – the others are: Ekene Nwakuchu, Captain Warredi Enisouh and a firm, Al-kenzo Limited.
They are standing trial on 30 counts of illegal and unlawful conversion of N3,700,629.
The defendants were alleged to have, on or before December 20, 2013, conspired to convert the said sum which belonged to NIMASA.
The alleged offences, according to the EFCC, section sections 18(a) and 15(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition (Amendment) Act. 2012, and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.
The defendants pleaded not guilty.