06 December 2013 – The trial of former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA; Mr Temisan Raymond Omatseye continued on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos where a prosecution witness, Mr Mohammed Shehu, told the Court, that the ex-DG did not execute the contract for the supply of generator sets to NIMASA.
Omatseye is standing trial on an amended 27 count-charge of alleged contract scam.
At the resumed hearing, the prosecution, Mr Godwin Obla (SAN), fielded Shehu, a former Acting Director of Procurement in NIMASA.
Shehu told the court under cross examination that he had a duty to ensure that contracts awarded by the director-general were in compliance with the Public Procurement Act.
“It is my duty to ensure that due process is followed in the award of any contract as stipulated by the Public Procurement Act.
“In the Act, the approved threshold for contracts relating to goods is less than N2.5 million while those relating to works are less than five million naira.
“When a request for contract is sent to the director-general, he minutes on it and send to me, and I make recommendations after ensuring that the contract falls within the threshold of the director-general,’’ he said.
The witness said that in 2009, there was a publication for tenders to supply a 200kVA generating set to NIMASA, but that contract was never executed by the accused.
“The contract for the supply of generator sets to NIMASA was not executed during the tenure of the accused.
“He was not personally involved in the assessment of the bid for the contract, and he did not issue any instructions to me, with respect to any of the contractors that bided for the contract.
“I am also not aware of the company which the contract was awarded to. There was also another contract for the supply of blackberry phones.
“I cannot remember exactly how the contract was advertised, but the accused was also not a party to the bidding process,” Shehu said when cross examined by the defence counsel, Mr Olusina Sofola (SAN).
The judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, adjourned the case to Jan. 20, 2014, for continuation.
Omatseye was re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Jan. 21.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail.
Omatseye was accused of contract splitting and bid rigging estimated at over N1.5 billion.
The offences contravened Sections 14(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and Sections 58(4) (d) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
*Godwin Oritse, Vanguard