Ex-NIMASA chief Omatseye denies influencing procurement process

A former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Temisan Omatseye, yesterday told the Federal High Court in Lagos that he did not interfere with procurement process at the agency.

Omatseye, who has been on trial for alleged contract rigging since 2011, spoke while being cross examined by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Godwin Obla (SAN) before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.

“My Lord, I didn’t rig any bidding process while I was director-general of NIMASA. Every bidding process was handled by the Procurement Department. I only signed what was brought to me for approval. In fact, my lord, that is why the Procurement Act was created.

“It separated the duties of the director-general from that of the director of procurement. I never interfered with the process.  If I did, I would be going against the Procurement Act,” he stated.

On how the N100 million quoted by Daniels Holdings for the supply of generating sets increased, Omatseye said the Procurement Act allowed the agency to add value added tax (VAT), procurement tax, interest tax and others.

“That is how we arrived at N129 million, though we didn’t purchase the generating set,” he said, adding that the contract was cancelled.

Insisting that the documents before the court were incomplete, Omatseye explained that every memo to his office must go through the registry, which stamped it before sending it to his office.

“Having received it from the registry department, I will then minute it to the necessary office, which works on it. But my lord, the document before me here has none from that department. Even their stamp is not in any of the documents before me here in court,” he said.

The trial continues on Friday.

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