Ex NIMASA Boss Awarded Contracts Above Approved Threshold- EFCC Witness

Source: thewillnigeria.com

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos and presided over by Justice Rita-Ofili Ajumogobia was Wednesday told that a former Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr.

Raymond Temisan Omatseye, who is being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges bordering on contract variation and bid rigging, violated provisions of the Public Procurement Act by awarding contracts above his approval limit.

At the resumed hearing of the case today, prosecution witness and procurement officer with the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP Mr.

Aliu E.
Aliu, reviewed various documents already tendered by the prosecution as exhibit, and told the court that all the approval for supply of goods in the documents before the court marked exhibit PD16 A-Y, were clearly above the stipulated threshold allowed the former NIMASA boss.

'All the supply documents before me for various goods are clearly above the stipulated threshold of a Director General as provided for by the Public Procurement Act for the supply of goods.

Works is associated with construction, renovation, demolition and erection of structures which clearly is not contained in any of the documents in exhibits PD16 A-Y and which classifies all the supplies in the various documents under review as goods,' Aliu said.

The prosecuting counsel Godwin Obla, SAN, who lead the witness in evidence, then asked him to retrieve any supply document that the contract sum fell within the stipulated threshold of N2.

5 Million allowed a DG for the supply of goods by the procurement Act.

But after carefully going through the documents, the witness told the court that he could not find any contract that was awarded for supply of goods that was within the stipulated threshold.

According to Aliu, 'all the supplies for goods in exhibit PD 16 A-Y are clearly above the stipulated threshold of N2.

5 million allowed a Director Generals/Chief Accounting Officer according to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act'.

When asked by Obla if the element of supply added to the number of items listed as goods can automatically change it from goods to works, the witness responded by saying that 'supply/installation of goods does not include any of what constitutes works; so it is still goods and not works.

' The witness was also quick to condemn the presence of a memo among the exhibit before the court captioned Anticipatory Approval which emanated from the secretary to the Director General.

According to Aliu 'an anticipatory approval memo' is not a part of the procurement process and shouldn't be there at all'.

At this point, the trial judge, Justice Ajumogobia adjourned the case to March 10 and 11, 2014, for continuation of trial.