Contrary to claims by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Ibrahim Magu, that former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General Temisan Omatseye was convicted for “N1.5billion contract scam, a group, the Maritime Advocacy Group (MAG), has faulted the claim saying Omatseye was not convicted for fraud as no money was traced to his account.
EFCC had listed Omatseye as one of 140 convictions made in the last six months.
But in a statement by its president, Ifeanyi Okolie and Secretary General Kayode animashun, MAG said: “It is pertinent to note that nowhere in the judgment is Temisan Omatseye found guilty of any fraud let alone misappropriation of funds. No where again was it mentioned that he was guilty of any criminal offence.
“For record purposes, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court in Lagos found him guilty of approving contracts above his threshold, a matter already subject to appeal.
“Omatseye had always stated in his statements and in court proceedings that the said threshold was never officially transmitted to him as at the time the contracts were awarded.
“It is also pertinent to note that at no time was there any N1.5billion fraud. This figure is a figment of the imagination of his persecutors. As a matter of fact, Omatseye, as at the time he was suspended, left more than N52billion in NIMASA’s account.
“When computed, the amount in the 27 count charge comes to about N90million and not the N1.5billion the public is made to believe.
“We call on Ibrahim Magu, the hardworking chairman of the EFCC, to always get his facts right before issuing statements. We believes in objective and factual reportage and will continue to preach a zero tolerance to corruption in the maritime industry.”