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Scam: Court Reserves Judgment In Omatseye’s Suit To May 20

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed May 20 for judgment against Raymond Omatseye, a former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), over N1.5 billion alleged scam.

He is charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 27-count charge bordering on bid rigging and contract splitting.

The suit,originally fixed for judgment on Monday, was adjourned at the instance of the court to May 20.

The trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, who had been transferred from the Lagos Division of the court to the Ilorin Division , was expected to return and deliver the judgment on that date.

At the last adjourned date, March 14, counsel for the prosecution and defence had both adopted their final written addresses in court.

The counsel for the accused, Mr Edoka Onyeke, had in his address urged the court to discountenance the arguments of prosecution and dismiss the charge against his client.

He had argued that the prosecution had not been able to proof its case beyond any reasonable doubt.

Onyeke said that out of the 27-count-charge against the accused, 25 dealt strictly with the issue of approval of contracts above the threshold while the remaining two were on bid rigging.

He said that the prosecution did not prove that exhibit PD 16, which it relied on in dealing with the issue of threshold, got to NIMASA at the time the contracts were awarded.

He had urged the court to discharge his client.

However, the prosecutor, Mr Godwin Obla, urged the court to hold that the case of the prosecution was “as clear as daylight, and had also been proven beyond any reasonable doubt’’.

Obla had submitted that the facts of the case spoke volumes.

He had argued that the accused in exhibits PD 1 and 2 clearly articulated his threshold for goods not exceeding N2.5 million and for works not exceeding N5 million.

Obla said that |Count 25 of the charge which dealt with threshold was straightforward, adding that sufficient evidence had been adduced to show that the accused awarded contracts above the thresholds.

He had urged the court to so hold, and convict the accused accordingly. (NAN)


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