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Convicted NIMASA boss, Omatseye, seeks bail pending appeal

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 Raymond Omatseye

Raymond Omatseye

The convicted former director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),Raymond Temisan Omatseye, has asked the Federal High Court to grant him bail, pending the determination of his appeal against his conviction.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia had on May 20 sentenced him to a prison term of five years without an option of file over infractions bordering on award of contracts above approved threshold.

The convict is asking the court to grant him bail, pending the determination of the appeal he lodged at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, challenging the decision.

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 said he is a father of four children, one of whom is very ill and suffers from “severe medical conditions of epilepsy, atypical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, with mitral regurgitation, artrial fibrillation, enuresis, severe learning difficulties and development delays.”

He said his wife stays full-time in London with the sick child to enable him get proper medical attention. In his wife’s absence, he stated that he has been providing parental care to the remaining three children in Nigeria.

Omatseye said he would not run away if granted bail, adding he was always in court during trial and he was granted bail after his arraignment on self-recognition, having been a lawyer for 28 years.

But, EFCC said the issues raised by Omatseye ought to be determined by the appellate court, adding that the reasons for the post-bail application “are based on appeal to pity and extraneous circumstances.”

The prosecution said bail after conviction is only granted on the basis of very special and exceptional circumstances.
“In the present application, no exceptional or very special circumstances have been shown to entitle the applicant to bail pending appeal.
“The applicant has failed to show any special circumstances or reason to enable this court to exercise its discretion in his favour and admit the applicant to bail.

“We, therefore, urged this court to dismiss the application,” EFCC said.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia would rule on the application on June 6, this year.



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