Ex-NIMASA DG, Raymond Omatseye, jailed for five years over N1.5 billion contract scam

Former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Raymond Omatseye Photo: Punch Newspaper

A former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency, Raymond Omatseye, was on Friday jailed for five years.

Giving judgment in a case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Justice Rita Ofili- Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court convicted Mr. Omatseye for a N1.5bn contract scam.

Details of the judgment is sketchy at this time, and we will provide updates later.

Background

The EFCC said the former NIMASA boss committed while he was in office, in violation of the country’s public procurement law.

Mr. 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.

At the final hearing of the matter on March 24, before the court fixed a date for judgment, the prosecution counsel, Godwin Obla, SAN, and defence counsel, E. D Onyeke made their final addresses and adopted them before the court.

Mr. 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 did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr. Obla also adopted his written address and expressed confidence that the 27-count charge against the defendant was proven beyond all reasonable doubt and prayed the court to find the defendant guilty of all the charges.

According to Mr. Obla, 25 counts of the charges preferred against Mr. 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.

After listening to all their submissions, Mrs. Ajumogobia adjourned the matter and fixed May 9, 2016 for judgment.

Judgment date was however moved to May 20 (today).

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