N1.5b Contract Scam: EFCC Closes Case In Trial of Ex NIMASA D-G, Omatseye

Channels Television  
Updated October 13, 2014

EFCC_IkuforijiThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, closed its case before a Federal High Court in Lagos, in the trial of Raymond Omatseye, charged with 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 of alleged contract scam.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was granted bail.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the prosecutor, Godwin Obla (SAN) informed the court that he had closed the case for the prosecution, having called three witnesses.

In response, Defence Counsel, Mr Olusina Sofola (SAN) quickly informed the court of the defence’s intention to file an application for a no case submission before the court.

Obla in reply, pointed out that the prosecution also had a right to respond to the application of defence, adding that he had 14 days to do so.

After listening to the submissions of counsels, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia ruled that she would hear both the application for no case submission, and the response of prosecution on the return date.

She adjourned the case to Dec. 2 for arguments.

Omatseye was re-arraigned on Jan. 21, 2013.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail.

The prosecution had opened its case on Feb. 4, 2013, by calling on its first witness, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, an Investigating Police Officer with the EFCC.

On May 30, 2013, Obla called his second witness, Mr Mohammed Shehu, a former acting Director of Procurement in NIMASA.

The third witness is Mr Aminu Aliyu, a staff of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

All witnesses had given various testimonies before the court, as to the nature and form of contract, awarded by the accused, while serving as D-G of NIMASA.

In the charge, the accused was said to have been involved in contract splitting and bid rigging estimated at over N1.5 billion.

The offence contravenes the provisions of sections 58 (4) (d) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

It also contravenes the provisions of sections 14 (a) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.