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EFCC quizzes ex-NIMASA DG, ex-Governor Chime’s Chief of Staff

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday grilled a former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi and Mrs, Ifeoma Nwobodo, who was the Chief of Staff to the former Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sullivan Chime.
It was learnt Akpobolokemi was invited by the EFCC in connection with billions of contract awarded during his tenure.
Sources said Akpobolokemi, who arrived at the Lagos Office of the EFCC at about 10am, was still being questioned as at press time.

A top EFCC aide said: “We invited ex-DG of NIMASA and some top officials of the agency for award of contracts, and some projects running into billions of Naira.
“We are also probing the Public Private Partnership agreements between NIMASA and some companies during Akpobolokemi’s tenure.
“There were allegations on the alleged mismanagement of the domiciliary accounts of NIMASA. But all these are in the realm of allegations.
“For logistic reasons, the interrogation is being done in Lagos for strategic reasons, especially bringing of evidence, such as the files and counter-interrogation of officials.
“I think we may grant Akpobolokemi and other officials of NIMASA administrative bail because the investigation is really a comprehensive one.”
An aide of Akpobolokemi said: “The ex-DG of NIMASA personally went to EFCC to honour the invitation of the commission. He was not arrested as being insinuated.
“Also, as I speak, he has given full cooperation to the EFCC on the allegations against him. I am aware that these allegations are baseless. They arose from internal politics in NIMASA.”
The ex-DG of NIMASA in February joined issues with the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the alleged PPP contracts.
He said: “The PPP project has also made it possible for the agency to provide suitable platforms to the relevant security agencies collaborating with us to fight piracy and other sundry security breaches in our waters.
“Memoranda of Understanding have been signed and are being implemented between the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force and NIMASA.”
Meanwhile, the EFCC appeared yesterday to be closing in on ex-Governor Sullivan Chime with the invitation of his former Chief of Staff, Mrs. Nwobodo.
The invitation of Mrs. Nwobodo was said to be the beginning of a comprehensive probe into the administration of ex-Governor Chime.
The EFCC source said Mrs. Nwobodo arrived at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja about 9.30am to respond to issues against her and the administration of Chime.
The source added: “The former Chief of Staff was immediately ushered into the interrogation room to meet a team of crack detectives.
The sundry allegations border essentially on conspiracy, money laundering, and misappropriation of public funds and abuse of office.
 Responding to a question, the source added: “I think her invitation is the beginning of some allegations against the administration of ex-Governor Chime.
“We have so many petitions against the former governor. But since his Chief of Staff was central to the coordination of government activities, we need to hear from her first.”
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