Former NIMASA boss sentenced to five years in prison

Bolchit Pam, Abuja

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State South western Nigeria, has convicted a former Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr Temisan Omatseye to five years in prison.

Justice Rita Ofili- Ajumogobia in a landmark ruling convicted the former Director General, on 25 of the 27-count charge bordering on alleged contract variation, bid rigging and awarding contract above his approval limit which violates the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Prosecuting Counsel, Godwin Obla, SAN 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 as charged.

Some of the charges against Omatseye read:“That you Temisan Omatseye whilst carrying out your duty as the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on the 16th Day of February, 2010, split tenders for, and approved, three contract awards to Wabil Nigeria Limited, to wit: Contract Nos: (a) NIMASA90127/02/2010 (b) NIMASA90137/02/2010 (c) NIMASA90139/02/2010 for supply office accessories, to enable you evade your official limit of monetary thresh hold of contract approval, and thereby contravening the provision of Section 58(4)(d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 58(5)(a)(b) of the same Act.

“That you Temisan Omatseye whilst carrying out your duty as the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) on the 29th day of January, 2010, split tenders for, and approved, two contract awards to Franxeel Limited wit: Contract Nos: (a) NIMASA90084/01/2010 (b) NIMASA90085/01/2010 for supply of computer accessories, to enable you evade your official limit of monetary thresh hold of contract approval, and thereby contravening the provision of Section 58(4)(d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 58(5)(a)(b) of the same Act”.

He had pleaded not guilty, paving the way for trial to commence. In the course of trail both the prosecution and the defendant called several witnesses.

Before delivering her judgment, Justice Ajumogobia, reviewed the trial and came to the conclusion that the prosecution successfully proved 25 of the 27 of the counts brought against Omatseye.

She found him guilty and sentenced Omatseye to five years imprisonment on each of the counts.

The Court also ordered that Omatseye should be dismissed from the Public Service.

Confidence .O