We got N905m contract from NIMASA without bidding- Witness

2016-02-03
TRIBUNE Newspaper

Prosecution witness, Uche Obilor, a businessman, on Tuesday, told a federal High court that his companies, Seabulk Offshore Limited, Southern Offshore Limited and Ace Prothesis Limited, received N905,800 million from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) without placing any bid for contract.

Mr. Obilor, who testified in the N2.6 billion corruption case against former NIMASA boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi, informed the court that the contracts awarded to his firms were not executed but the companies were paid.

Charged alongside Akpobolokemi are three other individuals: Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, and three companies: Blockz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.

When asked by the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, if he, Obilor, submited a bid for the said contract

The witness replied that: “We did not officially bid for the contract.”

Obilor also stated that he was contracted by NIMASA to provide sea vessels for the implementation of an ISPS Code project. His companies, Obilor revealed, received letters awarding them contracts they didn’t bid for and monies for the contract was paid in even before they got confirmation that they’ve been awarded the said contract.

“When we had the letter of award, by then the monies had been paid upfront.

“We were later approached that we should stay action, and that we should remit the money to certain companies and individuals,”

Obilor, who informed the court that his companies neither issued an invoice for payment received nor did they make request for payment, he went further to say that his companies received the following amounts:

Seabulk Offshore, N437million; Southern Offshore, N402million; and Ace Prothesis, N66.8million.

When queried by Akpobolokemi’s lawyer Joseph Nwobike (SAN), if he had ever met with the accused. Obilor answered; No.

He, however, denied knowledge of a document signed by his executive directors.

“I am very much aware of what happens in my companies. If the documents had emanated from the companies I would have known. I am unaware that my directors signed the documents,” Obilor said.

The trial was adjourned till Friday by the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba.

 

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