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Friday, 12 May 2017

NIMASA Contract Scam: Appeal Court Discharges Ex-NIMASA DG

The upper court in a unanimous verdict discharged and acquitted Omatseye of all the 24 count charge of bid rigging and contract splitting upon which he was convicted of at the lower court.  It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had re-arraigned Omatseye in 2013 before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia on an amended 27 counts.  In the amended charge the EFCC accused him of engaging in contract splitting and bid rigging to the tune of over N1.5billion while in office as the DG of NIMASA.  The offence, the anti-graft agency said, contravened Section 58(4) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.  In her judgment, the trial judge found Omatseye guilty of 24 out of the 27 counts charges. She however, discharged and acquitted him on three counts bordering on bid rigging.  Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia sentenced him to five years imprisonment for each of the 24 proven counts, holding that the sentences would run concurrently.  But the Court of Appeal, presided over by Justice Yargata Nimpar yesterday held among others, that the trial court did not properly evaluate the evidence.  Justice Nimpar resolved all five grounds of appeal in the appellant’s favour.

An appeal court in Lagos has overturned the judgement of the Federal high court which convicted the former DG of NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye.

He was accused of contract variation, bid rigging and inflation of contract.



The upper court in a unanimous verdict discharged and acquitted Omatseye of all the 24 count charge of bid rigging and contract splitting upon which he was convicted of at the lower court.
It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had re-arraigned Omatseye in 2013 before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia on an amended 27 counts.
In the amended charge the EFCC accused him of engaging in contract splitting and bid rigging to the tune of over N1.5billion while in office as the DG of NIMASA.
The offence, the anti-graft agency said, contravened Section 58(4) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
In her judgment, the trial judge found Omatseye guilty of 24 out of the 27 counts charges. She however, discharged and acquitted him on three counts bordering on bid rigging.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia sentenced him to five years imprisonment for each of the 24 proven counts, holding that the sentences would run concurrently.
But the Court of Appeal, presided over by Justice Yargata Nimpar yesterday held among others, that the trial court did not properly evaluate the evidence.
Justice Nimpar resolved all five grounds of appeal in the appellant’s favour.

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