Omatseye did not approve contract above threshold – Witness

The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday heard that a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Temisan Omatseye, did not approve contract above his threshold.

A witness, Abdullahi Muhammed, of the Federal Ministry of Justice, while testifying in Omatseye’s trial for contract rigging before Justice Rita Ofili Ajumogobia, said a February 13, 2013 document issued by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) absolved Omatseye of any wrongdoing.

“The letter, signed by Mike Oghiadomhe, was received, stamped and forwarded to the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.

“He minuted it out to the Solicitor-General who minuted same to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), who in turn minuted same to a lawyer for action as is done in the ministry.

“When the file came back to me, it was marked KIV, meaning ‘keep in view’. And that’s where it has been until it was subpoenaed by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos,” he said.

The BPP in the letter addressed to former President Goodluck Jonathan and signed by Engr. Emeka Ezeh, its Director-General, noted that all the procurements in issue which Omatseye was being accused of were within the approved thresholds of NIMASA.

The BPP was said to have pointed out that it was not contacted or consulted for useful advice before the charge against Omatseye was filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ezeh pleaded for a directive to the anti-graft agency to contact the Bureau for useful advice or input in all procurement matters they were taking to court.


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