By Sandra Umeh
The trial of retired Major-General Emmanuel Atewe, a former Commander of the Military Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta over alleged N8.5 billion fraud, has been scheduled Tuesday at a Federal High Court, Lagos.
Atewe is charged alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga.
They are standing trial on a 11-count charge bordering on fraud.
At the resumed trial of the case on Monday, the prosecution informed the court that counsel to the first accused had written a letter to be excused from court because he had another case at the Supreme Court.
Consequently, Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned the case to Tuesday for trial.
The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, alleged that the accused conspired to defraud NIMASA of N8.5 billion using six companies — 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 fraud between Sept. 5, 2014 and May 20, 2015.
The accused all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Oyedepo said the offences contravened the provision of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012 and Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation, 2004.