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Court sentences ex-NIMASA D-G to 7 years imprisonment

Valentine Chinyem

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday convicted former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) acting Director-General Calistus Obi to seven years imprisonment.

The court, however, gave him an option of N42million fine.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had on May 23, found him guilty of money laundering and converting the agency’s funds to personal use.

The court refused to order the forfeiture of his seized assets.

Obi was charged with N136 million fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Obi was appointed as acting head of NIMASA two months after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015. The convicted was appointed after the president fired Patrick Akpobolokemi as the Chief Executive Officer of the agency.

In the charge filed against Mr Obi, he was alleged to have committed the offences on August 5, 2014.

According to the EFCC, he and a former staff of NIMASA allegedly conspired to convert money from NIMASA, with the knowledge that same were proceeds of stealing.

The offences contravene the provisions of Sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibitions (Amendment) Act, 2012.