By Innocent Anaba
lagos—An accused, Haruna Jauro, has told a Federal High Court in Lagos, that he was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC with the hope of being its witness against Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Jauro, a former acting DG of NIMASA, gave the evidence at the resumed trial-within-trial, over a N304.1 million fraud charge preferred against him.
Jauro assumed leadership of NIMASA, after the exit of Akpobolokemi, who is also currently facing about three different fraud charges before the courts.
He is charged alongside Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd for a 19-count offence bordering on N304.1 million fraud.
They were arraigned on April 12, 2016 and had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court had admitted them to bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties each in like sum.
Led in evidence by defence counsel (Ojo) Jauro told the court that in July 2015, a team of operatives from the EFCC led by one Mr Ghali, had visited NIMASA, while he acted as DG after the sack of Akpobolokemi.
He said that the operatives told him that they were at NIMASA to investigate its activities, and further enquired from him if he was a substantive or acting DG.
He told the court that he told the operatives that he was sitting in acting capacity, adding that the operatives then asked if he would like to be confirmed as DG.
He said: “I replied yes and the leader then told me that he will be happy if I am confirmed as substantive DG adding that my maximum cooperation will be needed. He then told me that they were there to investigate the former DG and then asked me about my involvement in the running of the agency.
“I told him my involvement includes: employment of staffs, procurement procedures, payment procedures, budget proposals and many other areas. After some days, he came back to me and said that he had discovered that all I told him about my activities in NIMASA are correct and that I had nothing to hide, adding that EFCC will now make me a witness in the trial of the ex DG,”
The accused told the court that for him, the good news ended there, as the whole story changed after he got to the EFCC for interrogation.