Court Admits Evidence Against Omatseye, Ex-NIMASA Boss
ABUJA, June 29, (THEWILL) - A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos admitted three documents tendered as exhibits in support of the fraud charges brought against former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Omatseye is alleged to have been involved in contract splitting, illegal transfer of funds and unlawful approvals during his reign as the head of the agency. At the resumed hearing today, June 29, EFCC witness, Ibrahim Ahmed tendered three documents which were admitted as exhibits in support of the allegation that the former Director General awarded three contracts worth N14.5 million for the supply of office equipment between February 12 and 15 2010.
Although EFCC counsel, Godwin Obla, told the court that the Commission still had more documents to tender, counsel to Omatseye, Olushina Sofola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria told the court that despite the court order at the last adjourned date, that the documents should be made available to him, he only got the documents on Tuesday June 28 and therefore needed time to go through them.
Justice Binta Nyako subsequently adjourned proceedings to Friday July 1.
The EFCC had on Thursday February 3, 2011 arraigned Omatseye, before a Federal High Court in Lagos. Omatseye was arraigned on an 11 count charge before Justice Binta Nyako for offences that border on contract splitting, illegal transfer of fund and unlawful approvals.
He was subsequently granted bail by Justice Nyako on self recognition as a senior member of the bar.
Omatseye is facing an eleven (11) count charge of money laundering and contravening the provision of Section 58(4) (d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007. He was said to have between 2009 and 2010 caused to be transferred from NIMASA’s Barclays Bank account in London, the sum of 300,000 pounds (three hundred thousand pounds) without lawful approval, purportedly to fund the campaign of one Mrs. Mbanefo as secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 14(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 Laws of the federation of Nigeria.