A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday granted N500,000 bail to the former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Raymond Omatseye, who was convicted on charges of contract scam.
Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia granted the convict bail pending the hearing and determination of his appeal at the court of appeal.
“I have looked at the processes filed by appellant but I have a discretion which must be exercised judicially and judiciously.
“In the applicants affidavit, he deposed to the fact that his child suffers from a severe medical condition, which is an uncontrollable epilepsy seizure which has put the family under serious strain
“I will admit the appellant to bail on the single ground of been a mother.
“Even a mad woman will come after you if you toil with her child.
“The applicant is hereby admitted to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum;
“One of the sureties must be a level 16 officer in the civil service who must deposit his international passport with the court’s registry,” she held
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia had on May 20, sentenced Omatseye to a prison term of five years for awarding contracts above threshold while in office.
The judge had found Omatseye guilty of 24 out of the 27 counts preferred against him.
She however, discharged and acquitted him of three out of the 27 counts bordering on bid rigging.
Ajumogobia found Omatseye guilty of the offence of awarding contracts above stipulated threshold, and accordingly convicted him on counts 1 to 20,24,25,26, and 27.
In challenging the verdict, Omatseye had prayed the court to grant him bail pending the determination of his appeal lodged at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.
According to him, given the number of years it takes to prosecute appeals, it is likely that he could have finished serving the prison term by the time the appeal is determined.
Besides, Omatseye had said he is a father of four children, one of whom is very ill and suffers from “severe medical conditions of epilepsy.