Alleged N1.5bn contract scam: EFCC closes case in ex-NIMASA DG’s trial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday closed its case at a Federal High Court in Lagos in the trial of Raymond Omatseye, charged with alleged contract scam.
Omatseye, a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), is standing trial on an amended 27-count charge bordering on contract scam.
He had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the prosecutor, Mr Godwin Obla (SAN) informed the court that the case was scheduled for hearing.
He, however, told the court that he had closed the case for the prosecution having called three witnesses.
In his response, the Defence Counsel, Mr Olusina Sofola (SAN) notified the court of his intention to file an application for a no-case submission.
Obla, in a reply, said the prosecution had a right to respond, adding that he had 14 days to do so.
After listening to the submissions of both counsel, Ofili-Ajumogobia said she would hear both  applications for the no-case submission and the response of the prosecution on Dec. 2.
She adjourned the case to Dec. 2.
Omatseye was re-arraigned on Jan. 21, 2013 when he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail.
The case was opened on Feb. 4, 2013, when the defense produced its first witness, Malam Ibrahim Ahmed, an Investigating Police Officer with the EFCC.
The second and third witnesses, Malam Mohammed Shehu, a former Acting Director of Procurement and Malam Aminu Alyu, a staff of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), were called on May 30, 2013.
All witnesses gave various testimonies before the court as to the nature and form of the contract awarded by the accused while serving as DG of NIMASA.
The prosecution alleged that the accused was said to have been involved in contract splitting and bid rigging estimated at N1.5 billion.
The alleged offences contravened the provisions of Sections 58(4), (d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and the provisions of Sections 14(a) of the Money Laundering.



Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.

..