How ex-NIMASA DG awarded inflated contracts

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Mar 10th, 2014
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A Federal High Court in Lagos Thursday heard how a former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Raymond Omatseye, allegedly awarded an inflated contract for the supply of generator set to a company that did not qualify.

Prosecution witness, Aliyu Aliyu at the resumed trial of Omatseye told the Justice Rita Ofile-Ajumogobia presided court that N100 million was budgeted for the supplies but Omatseye awarded N129 million to Daniel Nigeria Limited.

He said Daniel Nigeria was not among a list of pre-qualified bidders published in a newspaper on September 11, 2009.

Aliyu said another company, Marine Gold Limited bidded N84 million to get the job done, while Daniel Holdings submitted a N100 million bid.

“The award is higher than the bid price of N100, 001, 475,” Aliyu said.

“From the 21 pre-qualified names, I cannot find Daniels Nigeria Limited,” the witness said.

According to him, another contract for the supply of 100 Blackberry phones was not advertised in two national newspapers as statutorily required.

“A contract is null and void, and a nullity if not advertised in a national newspaper.

“I did not see any document containing attendance list of participants with their numbers at the bid opening,” he said.

On whether an agency’s Governing Board can approve contracts, Aliyu told the court that a parastatal’s governing board has no business with contract awards.

“The Governing Board has no role to play in the procurement process. The tenders board is the body saddled with the responsibility of awarding contracts,” he said.

EFCC re-arraigned Omatseye before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia on an amended 27-count charge bordering on contract scam.

Omatseye pleaded not guilty to all the counts. His re-arraignment was due to the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako.

The accused person was charged with alleged illegal transfer of NIMASA’s funds and contract splitting estimated at over N1.5 billion. The trial continues Tuesday.

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