THE trial of immediate past Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Ziadeke Akpolobokeml and nine others standing trial before Justice Saliu Saidu led-Federal High Court, Lagos, has again been adjourned till March 22.
On the adjourned date, the judge will rule on the admissibility of a document tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Festus Keyamo.
Keyamo, while leading his prosecution witness, Mr. Teslim Adekunle, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank Plc in evidence, had sought to tender the document as evidence.
But the lead counsel for the first accused person, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), objected to the admissibility of the document on the ground that it is a photocopy that requires certification before it can be admitted.
Other counsel for the rest of the defence, who toed the same line of argument, insisted that the court should jettison the document.
The document is a response to a letter which the anti-graft agency had written to Zenith requesting for a company, Thlumbau Enterprises Limited’s statement of account, account opening package and certificate of identification.
Keyamo argued that such documents are not under the purview of public documents as envisaged by the Evidence Act because it has to do with private enquiry from security agency.
Having patiently listened to all the line of arguments, the trial judge, Justice Saliu Saidu, adjourned with the consent of the parties to rule on the new date.
Earlier in the proceedings, the judge had also ruled that the prosecution could withdraw a document they had wanted to tender but was opposed by the defence. Akpobolokemi and nine others are facing charges bordering on alleged theft of N3.7 billion.
Those charged alongside the former NIMASA’s director-general are Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Felix Bob-Nabena, Captain Warredi Enisouh, Governor Amechee Juan, Ugo Frederick, Timi Alari and two limited liability companies, Al-kenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.