Ex-NIMASA Director General, Omatseye Jailed Five Years
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Raymond Temisan Omatseye, to five years in prison over N1.5bn contract scam.
Omatseye was arraigned before the court on a 27-count charge bordering on alleged contract variation, bid rigging and awarding contract above his approval limit.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which arraigned him said he was engaged in contract splitting and bid rigging estimated at over N1.5billion while he was head of NIMASA.
The offence, according to the EFCC, contravened Section 58(4) (d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
Omatseye was also charged with money laundering contrary to Section (14) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, 14 March, the prosecution counsel, Godwin Obla, SAN, and defense counsel, E. D Onyeke had made their final addresses and adopted them before the court.
Onyeke filed and served the court and prosecution a written address and adopted it.
He urged the court to dismiss the case against the former NIMASA boss on the grounds that, the prosecution has not been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Obla also adopted his written address and expressed confidence that the 27-count charge against the defendant has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt and prayed the court to find the defendant guilty of all the charges.
According to Obla, 25 counts of the charges preferred against Omatseye dwelt on the approval of contract above the threshold level and the other two counts dealt with bid rigging.
He also said that, contrary to existing regulations, contract was awarded to a company that was the highest bidder and which was not even pre-qualified for the contract.